It takes discipline to manage finances

2015-12-17 11:00

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Pietermaritzburg - Local consumers are taking a step away from ­luxurious Christmas spending and instead opting for necessities.

But children are still scoring, with one of the city’s largest retailers admitting that parents, ­despite tough economic times, are spoiling them.

Marlin Govender, a manager at Game Midlands Liberty Mall, said many customers have been ­selective on the range of items in store they purchase and are leaning towards only buying essential ­products.

However, parents continue to spoil their children with gifts.

The retail manager said people are carefully spending their money on food and essential merchandise, with children’s gifts flying off the shelves.

“Things are tough at the moment with regards to meeting our targets, but we hope sales will soon pick up,” he said.

Govender said customers, when choosing a product to purchase, have been in the low- to ­mid-end price range.

“When it comes to electronics, for instance, customers are not opting for the top-of-the-range and instead they are settling for affordable options.”

Economist John Loos said it is advisable not to spend unnecessarily and that “people should learn to live within their salary band” and avoid ­unnecessary spending.

He said in most cases during the festive season, people rush to spend money not thinking about the necessary household debit orders that need to be paid in January.

“When you receive your salary between ­December 15 and 20 obviously money is available to spend. You need to calculate how much can be spent and how much should be reserved for debit orders,” said Loos. Loos added there is no magic solution and that it takes discipline to manage finances and a debt-free life.

“Any over spending will lead people to desperately seek a personal loan in January to recoup money spent unnecessarily during the December period.

“Even when you plan early for your festive spending, people should avoid relying on bonuses as they are at the discretion of the employer,” said Loos.

A year-end holiday survey released by Deloitte recently showed that consumers are cutting their costs on Christmas spending, settling for ­essentials. The survey found that consumers are spending more on essentials and healthcare compared to 2014.

In addition, 51% of consumers in the survey ­responded that they will be spending money on ­educational toys. SEE PAGE 5 FOR MORE


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  christmas  |  finance  |  spending

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