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​This black Friday, shed light on your budget 

By Alicia Moses, Content Specialist, Consumer Education Department, FSCA

Two years ago, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) issued its first consumer communique on Black Friday; warning consumers of marketing ploys which convince one to overspend, especially on credit. Last year the message was to; plan your spending by saving throughout the year so that you buy what you want, in cash!  

This year the COVID-19 pandemic took many families by surprise. The lock down level regulations issued by the South African government closed many businesses which were not able to sustain itself (its employees) and reopen when the restrictions were lifted. As a result, many households lost their livelihoods and income, or had to accept a reduced income in order to remain employed. 

South Africa is currently coming out of the storm and businesses are trying to recover their losses experienced during the year - especially this Black Friday. There is an influx of marketing SMS’s and calls to the everyday consumer pushing sales and specials. The shops have already put up festive decorations and the pressure to buy and spend is increasing. 

Now more than ever, it is time to be honest with your family and involve them in your budget. This includes young children. By involving each person in the household budget, each person will have a better understanding of the family’s financial situation. They will learn key skills on prioritising needs over wants, how to manage income and reduce expenses. In addition, you can set goals as a family and work towards these together. If, for example during the year your child asks for a specific gift. You can explain to them that this will affect the family’s year end goal. Children will learn to think twice before asking or requesting something and learn to consider the family.  Family members will now be more cognisant of everyday household expenses such as water and electricity usage and work on ways to reduce this. Budgeting as a family will reduce the pressure to buy and spend on unnecessary wants during the year, especially this Black Friday. 

Here are a few tips to survive Black Friday and beyond: 

- A “special” is not necessarily a special. Many businesses increase the price of their products and services during Black Friday and mark these as “specials” – don’t be tricked!

- Learn to say “no, thanks!” 

- Block the numbers from salespersons/businesses so that you don’t get calls and delete SMS’s from marketing salespersons. 

- Look at other ways to gift and show kindness to those around you that doesn’t cost money. 

- Don’t make promises that you may not be able to keep. 

- Make something as opposed to buying something. 

- Spend quality time with family. Its worth more than a gift and lasts a lot longer. 

- Avoid the shops including the temptation to buy online during peak sales periods. 

- When going to the shops, write a list, don’t take many people with you and eat before you go so that you do not overspend.  

Its been a tough year for South Africans financially and emotionally.  But it has also be a year of opportunity for many who have wanted to start a business but never had the time. Covid-19 presented opportunities to be creative and innovation. This proves that we are a resilient nation who will overcome the challenges we face. 

For more information on effective budgeting as well as a free budget template visit

Have a question? E-mail 

Want to chat more about budgeting? Call 0800 20  3277 (FSCA)

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