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Multiply good money habits this Black Friday

Planning ahead is crucial.
Customers at Checkers Hyper in Meadowdale, Edenvale take advantage of Black Friday savings, 24 November 2017 Image: The Citizen

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping phenomena to ever hit our shores. But before you think about taking part in this spending frenzy, make sure that you plan to avoid incurring unnecessary debt.

The fourth Friday in November is a much-anticipated opportunity for shoppers to splurge. Known as Black Friday, this shopping extravaganza sees retailers slashing their prices significantly in a bid to rake in sales ahead of the festive season.

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According to BankservAfrica, last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the biggest in South Africa to date, with more than seven million transactions processed – a 36% increase from the 5.2 million transactions in 2018 – and more than R6 billion incurred in card transactions. In retrospect, 2019 revealed that many consumers didn’t realise the precarious state of South Africa’s economy, even before the onset of the pandemic.

With the advent of Covid-19, the country’s economy has taken a further knock, leaving some consumers under more financial pressure. Many have lost their jobs and some had paycuts, while others find themselves financially responsible for more family members. Perhaps more than any other year, this year’s Black Friday will force us to look at our spending habits a little more closely. It has become increasingly important to improve our financial health and security by understanding patterns and behaviour in how we spend, save, and incur or manage debt.

Findings from the Momentum/Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index indicate that South African households’ real net wealth declined as a result of the economy, and will worsen as a direct consequence of the effects of Covid-19.

The index found that consumers are more concerned about their finances, with around two-thirds of respondents feeling that they should try to save money where they can, and avoid frivolous spending.

While we all want to cultivate healthier money habits and improve our financial knowledge, we often forget that a spending habit is just that: a habit. With consistent and conscientious effort, all ‘bad’ habits can be undone.

Once you understand the effect of your spending habits on your financial security, you’ll be in a better position to make sensible choices that work for you and your family.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid the debt trap, this Black Friday and beyond:

Know your financial health

First, take an honest look at your finances. You might believe your financial position is healthy. However, is this truly the case? Compare your monthly income to all your expenses. The comparison can include automatic debit orders and monthly payments like rent and bank charges. It’s important to have a clear picture of these expenses to ensure that you’re appropriately prioritising your spending and not living beyond your means.

Budgeting can help with this. The Momentum/Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index found that financially well households are 20% more likely to have a written budget (handwritten or electronic) than their financially unwell counterparts.

Using digital tools make it easy to identify negative spending habits by tracking and categorising your expenses. These will help you keep track of the money that you save, and seeing the rewards of your actions will encourage you to save further.

 Do not buy on impulse – rather plan before you purchase

Don’t fall into the trap of buying on impulse, especially when faced with one of those ‘not to be missed’ deals. Where Black Friday is useful is in an instance where there is something you’ve been planning to purchase for a while.

Make a list of the things you need, and on the day, be prepared to hunt for a good deal on those specific items only. Do not buy anything that is not on your Black Friday shopping list. When shopping online, you can prepare in advance by saving the items you would like to buy to your wish list, and adding them to your cart as soon as the discount is applied.

Use your rewards programme’s discount or cashbacks 

For all the necessary Black Friday purchases, use cashbacks or discounts from rewards programmes like Momentum Multiply. You can purchase travel tickets, bulk groceries, or wearable gadgets from your rewards programme’s partners to maximise your Black Friday savings. These discounts can go a long way in saving you money on holiday gifts, or for those rewarding experiences you want to create for your loved ones.

Think ahead before you swipe

Before you get caught in Black Friday fever, consider purchasing back-to-school items now so you can enjoy the festive season knowing your essential January expenses are covered. Spending on essentials first will also help you promote good money behaviours for your loved ones. The journey to a rewarding future begins with a good financial plan and sound decisions.

Shop around for the best deal

Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean that all shops have the same discount for the items you are looking for, so compare prices. This is relatively easy to do online and ensures that you avoid the long queues at shopping malls. This is also far safer when there is still a pandemic to contend with.

It’s important to spend your money wisely. Always avoid unnecessary debt, whether it’s Black Friday or any other occasion. An important part of good spending is planning, which means only purchasing items on your budget. Take a closer look at what you are buying to see if it falls in line with your budget and avoid getting pulled into ‘unmissable deals’ on items you wouldn’t ordinarily purchase.

Kim Mopelong is Multiply Money’s product head.

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Black Friday has absolutely nothing to do with our country. It is also, in the time of Covid19, grossly irresponsible to encourage people to crowd into shops, for so-called bargains which are very often nothing of the sort.

plan to avoid Cov19 on black Friday

If you have to wait for Black Friday to buy something, it implies that you cannot afford it, to begin with. The hype around the special offers of the day is merely an innovative way for retailers to extract cash flow from the credit cards of shoppers. Either you have your own plan, or you are part of someone else’s plan. The happy Balck Friday shoppers are part of the business plan of the retailer.

People who suffer a deficit in the financial control and self-discipline departments use their credit cards to gather in huge numbers on this day to celebrate their shortcomings.

Any person who doesn’t have a written down budget from receipt of their first paycheck is a fool unto themselves. This budget should be updated monthly and at least 5% of gross salary/income should be apportioned to an investment account and then annually to something like ETF’s or direct share purchases. Failure to do so will undoubtedly result in becoming a poor pensioner

You are 101% correct. When I was at school, we had a presentation to the matriculants in the school hall by an insurance company representative. I don’t remember the name of the company nor what he told us about insurance but what stuck with me all these years (almost 50) is the Budget example written on the flip chart page. Savings and investments were boldly indicated besides the rest of usual monthly expenses including insurance of course. I’ve tried selling that idea to many people who are in trouble, but somehow it fails to stick. It’s in the DNA I suspect. But that does not mean it shouldn’t start early and repetitively in school, applying it to monthly pocket money as a start. Alas, I suspect we might find many teachers not even conscious of the concept of budgeting much less applying it themselves.

Jip. Buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t know…

Here is the logic.

You can save R10 on a bag of OMO!!!!

So if you buy 100 000 bags you can save R1 million.

*lol* yes, and armed with 100,000 bags of OMO, to make it all count…your washing machine would have to be replaced like 7 times over a span of 60 years 😉

I only see overweight (to the point of being obese) shoppers in this chosen article picture.

It’s clearly evident that most people Support our Farmers through their actions (by eating as much as they can), and appreciate all those that really overdo it.

It is also a clear sign that South Africans are on average still fairly well off (i.e. for one, we are well fed) compared to our other skinny African compatriots.
So all the complaints about harsh SA life must be unfounded. Let’s stop the negativity, shall we?

Thank you, if it wasn’t for your support in food devouring, our farmers would’ve been worse off. I hope to count on your continued support?

Love thy Farmer ☻ ♥

Save 100%. Stay at home! Haha

End of comments.

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