There are a few questions people intending to join in on the Black Friday bargain hunting must ask themselves.
Eunice Sibiya, the head of consumer education at FNB, sat down with HuffPost to chat about all things money –– including the financial consequences of Black Friday, if consumers are not careful.
Sibiya suggests every person ask themselves these five questions:
1. Where is the money going to come from?
If you have money set aside for Black Friday, then it's great. But if not, you should ask yourself where the money is going to come from.
"Do you have that kind of money, or are you going to max your credit card, max your overdraft, or take out a short loan?" Remember that the interest you pay on credit could negate any Black Friday savings.
2. Will Black Friday compromise my monthly debit orders or expenses?
Sibiya advises that people who do not have an answer to this question consider giving Black Friday a miss.
However, if you will be receiving a 13th cheque or a bonus, and your plan is to pay yourself back through those means -- that could be viable. If you know you will not be disciplined enough to follow through with this, rather not do it, she cautions. The festive season has additional financial demands on many people.
3. What do I really need, or is it just a want?
Consumers who have planned for Black Friday must determine what it is they need, versus what it is they want. Sibiya cautions against impulsive buying, which may be the result of unplanned and unbudgeted-for Black Friday shopping.
4. If I use my credit card, what is the interest rate?
Sibiya encourages consumers to know the interest rate they will be charged on their credit card before they consider buying discounted items.
"Is it worth putting it on your credit card? For 12 or 24 months -- what interest rate are you charged, do you even know? So come the term, 12 or 24 months later, how much would you have paid in total for the item?"
5. Am I being really honest with myself about my financial situation?
More than 60 percent of South Africans are said to spend more than 75 percent of their income servicing debt, pointed out Sibiya.
So if you are already over-indebted, perhaps missing this Black Friday would not be a bad idea, she advised.
"Those are things we need to think about before you make a decision for yourself, whether it's worth it or not."
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