The SARB increased interest rates in March 2016 in an attempt to curb inflation in South Africa. As a result the cost of borrowing money increased as well, leaving over-indebted consumers feeling even more stretched to make ends meet.
26 January 2015
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
This January, don’t fall for the “on sale” signs! The first sale sign you see is not always the best deal available. Most times, the prices are doubled! Retailers use the festive period to cash in and consumers end up paying twice the price they would normally. They trick you with too good to be true promotions like buy 2 get one free or buy now – pay later. The question to ask yourself is, if I only need one, why should I buy 2? If I can’t afford it now, why do I think I can afford it later? Is it a financially viable option?
Beware of the power that retail marketing has over your spending behaviour. You could be spending your hard earned cash on something you don’t really need, putting yourself under financial stress for the next 12 to 24 months. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Retailers are known to double their prices over the festive season. A recent price check revealed a certain retailer, who usually charged R39.99 for a simple plain T-shirt, is now advertising the exact same shirt for R79.99 as a sale price.
- Far too often, consumers see the “SALE NOW ON!” signs and instead of first checking that the price is properly marked down they rush into the store and make an impulsive purchase at the original or increased price.
- Bulk packaging is used to mislead us into believing we are getting better prices. Quite often the price of the big box of breakfast cereal is more expensive per kg than the smaller box.
Being a shopper during the festive season is like being a participant in the television series “Survivor”. We need to be alert, know who to trust, never assume anything and always check ourselves. Have a shopping list, a budget and a plan and stick to it. Don’t be deceived by retail marketing. The consequence is severe, you will become over-indebted and won’t be able to afford your basic living expenses. You will struggle to pay your accounts, get a poor credit score and will eventually be kicked out of the “credit tribe”.
What to consider when making purchases
- Avoid purchasing unnecessary items which you do not need right now. Wait until February, once the festive season hype has passed and the back-to-school rush is over. Then check carefully that sale prices are substantially lower before purchasing.
- Retailers and supermarkets drop their prices tremendously after January, and you’ll be able to get a lot more for less. You’ll get good quality products without overspending.
- Set up and stick to your budget. This way, you will limit your spending as you will only be purchasing necessities.
If you were caught out by the retail marketing trap this festive season and find you are struggling to make ends meet, you may need professional help. Don’t leave it too long. DebtBusters, the AWARD WINNING and most TRUSTED debt counsellor in South Africa can assist you.
We will provide you with a way of reducing your debt in 5 simple steps:
- WE can give you a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL credit assessment
- WE can CONSOLIDATE your debt repayments into one affordable monthly instalment
- WE can NEGOTIATE with your credit providers to reduce interest rates and fees on your accounts
- WE can get you LEGAL PROTECTION to stop creditors from hassling you
- WE can get you DEBT FREE and issue you with a Clearance Certificate – CLEAR YOUR NAME
The process is 100% confidential with no obligation.
Call DebtBusters on 0869 99 06 06 or visit www.debtbusters.co.za and have a consultant call you back. Make sure you have a financially fit 2015!
Author: Saajidah Kriel (DebtBusters Financial Consultant)