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Debt expert warns about perils of Black Friday

Deeply indebted consumers should think long and hard before plunging them selves even deeper into debt by splurging on luxury goods on Black Friday.

Neil Roets, CEO ofoneofSouthAfrica’slargest debt counselling companies, Debt Rescue, said often deals offered by major retailers seemed so good that consumers threw caution to the wind and blew their entire Christmas budget of single expensive items such as high-end TVs and other domestic appliances.

“Taking place on Friday November 24, many retailers and online shops such have promised deals that would tempt event the most financially distressed amongst us. The short answeris – don’t. For the past several years we have seen the impact that Black Friday and Christmas shopping sprees have had on consumers when they approached us to try and get them out from under the financial mess that reckless spending has caused. Retailers who are themselves in deep trouble because of the contracting economy have come up with a host of clever ideas to tempt consumers to open their wallets and purses which is how the idea of Black Friday was born. “Roets said that Black Friday was initially slow to take off when the idea was imported to South Africa by online retailer Takealot. Once it took hold he said that it took off like a rocket ship and many traders are now notching up a significant portion of their yearly sales on this day and over the Christmas holidays.

Roets said many consumers had also developed a degree of resentment believing that they had been pulling in their collected belt for so long that they needed a break and that Black Friday would be the ideal opportunity to splurge on something nice.

“In short, it is my belief that things are going to get a lot tougher before they get better. Now is not the time to act recklessly. On the contrary – it is more important now than ever before to implement fiscal discipline and save whatever money is left over at the end of the month. Buy only what is absolutely necessary While. we all feel that we desperately need a holiday and the end of a brutal year, keep those holidays within budget and don’t think that if you don’t have the money for school fees in December that the money will somehow, magically become available in January when the schools reopen,” Roets said.

He pointed out than half of all South Africans were three months or more behind in their repayment shaving collectively notched up someR1,71-trillion in debt(latest National Credit Regulator stats)

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