The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has warned consumers not to be reckless with their spending ahead of the new year.
The NCR’s Anne-Carien Du Plooy says during the festive season, overall consumer spending tends to increase because of the retail hype and the holiday fever.
“Draw up a budget and use shopping lists to avoid excessive spending – which in all likelihood will backfire in January creating financial distress.”
Du Plooy has advised consumers to be financially astute.
“Budget your bonus and December salary wisely, prioritise debt repayment and necessities before luxury purchases, make cash purchases where possible – with cash, you pay less compared to credit. Refrain from using credit unnecessarily such as purchasing consumable items like food, clothing, data, airtime, gifts etc. Always allocate a budget to every item you intend to buy. It pays to shop around for better deals.”
Du Plooy has also advised consumers to use their credit facilities responsibility and request a quotation before signing.
“This quotation will outline all the costs of credit. While credit makes buying easy, it may trigger impulse buying and reckless overspending. Remember, credit attracts interest and fees, and in the end, you always pay more. Missing an instalment or paying less than the required amount will also adversely affect your credit profile.
Tips to stay financially healthy during festive season and beyond:
- Remember that your December salary should last you until your January 2022 pay day;
- Your December salary must be budgeted like you do every month;
- Pay your necessities, remember your debit orders and save for January expenses;
- Just because you receive your salary earlier than usual does not mean that you must spend it all at once;
- Buy January necessities such as school uniform, stationery etc. in December before spending your money on luxuries;
- Don’t blow your bonus. Use it wisely. Repay debt. Save for January expenses;
- Don’t spend if you did not budget for it;
- Don’t entertain sudden, unplanned spending urges, no matter how small they may seem;
- Start saving for the new year.