DebtSafe Blog

From Black Friday & Cyber Monday to FLAT BROKE TUESDAY

The biggest shopping phenomenon is just around the corner and, you better know  what you’re in for if you are considering to take part in the spending mania. Be aware that various retailers are after your and other consumers’ hard-earned money. You are probably already seeing the RED sale signs, but in many cases, you might soon also get to see your bank statement reflecting in the RED / minus digits. Are you, perhaps, a bit ignorant and expecting no dire aftereffect of Black Friday (29 November) and Cyber Monday’s (2 December) marketing gimmicks leading to excessive or impulsive spending on your part? What can you gain, financially, by taking part in these events? Buying furniture, a nice watch or various gifts on Friday, and then a few tech gadgets on Monday – yep, you’ll, unfortunately, be FLAT BROKE by Tuesday.

You and other South African consumers should take caution when it comes to the upcoming shopping hype. Spending beyond your means can have devastating consequences, and ultimately lead to severe debt.

Here are, therefore, five warnings why you should rather avoid Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees. And, why taking part in these events is a BIG no-no for your pocket:

  1. Retailers often tend to fix prices or offer ‘deep discounts’ on various products and items on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You and other consumers can be lured into yet another marketing gimmick – when shop retailers make ‘discounts’ seem bigger than they are. Be careful of those ‘SALE’ signs. Sometimes a ‘SALE’ is NOT really a discount.

  2. Due to the ‘pack mentality’ reality (the queues, the excitement and loads of people) you get confronted with, you can easily get tricked into following and doing what others do – run, grab, duck, dive and shop ‘till you drop. What on earth will you be doing to your poor pocket?

  3. Since it can be difficult to trust yourself in these shopping situations, why not stay away from certain events instead? Various consumers that were part of the 2018 hype have confessed that they had no strategy before they started scrolling online or walked into the shops. Their impulsive and unplanned shopping expeditions landed them in trouble as they bought trollies full of stuff they did not need. Are you also guilty of taking part in former impulsive buys?

  4. Are you sure you want to be conformed to South Africa’s ‘mindless-swiping culture’? According to 46% of the 1000+ respondents that took part in DebtSafe’s Financial Reality 2019 Survey, they were behind with their debt repayments. The typical agreements that they were in arrears with, were: retail credit like clothing accounts or store credit (44%) and a credit card or overdraft (30%). Learn to live without excessive credit like retail credit, credit cards or loans, and put your ‘want buys’ on hold since it is not urgent.

  5. The South African retail sector is ‘out for RED’ this time of year and, this does not only affect you or consumers in the metro provinces – other areas are also being targeted.

Since these shopping events are fast approaching and right before Christmas, you can be sure to experience some sort of pressure. Take caution when wanting to take part in last minute ‘bargains’. Stand firm, rather dodge debt, save your hard-earned money and avoid buyer’s remorse.

One final food for thought before you decide to rush online, jump in the car or perhaps join a Black Friday queue: If you don’t need to buy an item at full price, you don’t need to buy it on a ‘sale’.