JOHANNESBURG - If you are preparing to take advantage of Black Friday deals, think again. Consumers are advised to be cautious of “never before seen” deals offered by retailers and particularly about taking credit for items they may not need. Capitec Bank advises South Africans to give careful consideration to store credit as Black Friday approaches.

Tip #1: Buy smart. Don’t let Black Friday become an excuse to buy things you don’t really need and spend money you don’t have. Think it through and be smart.

Tip #2: Credit can be useful. If you spot a deal on an item you really need and that will help you live better in the future, credit can be a useful tool. Make sure the value of the item will outlive the repayment plan. Most importantly, look at all the costs of taking credit.

Tip #3: Pay off what you owe first. If you’re still paying off a student loan, your car and have existing debt on credit cards, Black Friday is probably something to avoid.

Tip #4: Make a list, check it thrice. Consider what you need, rather than what you want. List your expenses according to your needs, not your wants.

Tip #5: Sales days attract thieves. The increase in people drawing cash means there’s a higher risk of cash theft and card swopping at ATMs.

Myth #1: “You can’t beat Black Friday prices.” False. Christmas is near and retailers have a month left to lure consumers with attractive deals.

Myth #2: “It’s a once-off opportunity for consumers.” False. Black Friday is intended to get you to spend money.

Myth #3: “Everyone is doing it.” False. The hottest trend is minimalism. It’s all about decluttering and moving towards simplicity. 

PERSONAL FINANCE