RD Debt Counselling is a professional and reliable debt counselling firm in Benoni, Gauteng. We help you become debt free in the shortest possible time.

should I take out a personal loan? Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

Should I take out a personal loan?

Many people are in a position where they can take a personal loan. I get SMS’s every week telling me how much I qualify for ……………..   should I take that loan?

This is a question I get from different people in different walks of life all the time, and there is no right answer, and I will explain this as we go along, it depends really on what the loan will do for your life.

What are you going to use the personal loan for?

Is it for business or education, is it to fund your lifestyle, is it because you are short at the end of most months?

If it’s going to make you more money after it has been settled,  then Yes.

If you are buying consumables to get through the month, then No

READ MORE: How to stick to a budget

Will it enrich your life financially or increase your wellbeing?

Not quite so easy to answer,

If it’s for education that will make you more money long-term, then yes

If it’s for a course or hobby that will enrich your life, and you can afford it, and you have worked out how much extra you will pay in interest and costs and you still think it’s a good idea, then yes, but first look at the savings option.

What about affordability, how will I know if I can afford the loan?

Make sure you know exactly how much your installments will be. Look at your budget, or work out a budget, and make sure that you will be able to pay every month.  Also, work out the total you will pay over the period.  Shop around and ask how much their interest rates are.  Choose the loan which has the lowest interest rate over the shortest period you can afford.

ALSO READ: What is good debt and what is bad debt?

What are you going to have to sacrifice to pay it back?

If you are on a budget as most are, you need to work out what you will have less of to afford the loan repayments.  When you do this exercise before taking the loan it might discourage you.

Is it a good or a bad idea to take a loan to buy a car?

This has advantages and disadvantages.

Interest rates will be much higher on a Personal loan than on vehicle finance, so you will pay more money over a longer period.  That’s a huge disadvantage.

The only advantage that I have been told by clients is that the loan is not an asset-based loan, in other words, it is not legally attached to the car, even if you used the money to buy the car, you could have used it to eat or buy clothes.  So should you default on the loan, they cannot re-possess the car.

One shouldn’t plan to fail, so unless the car is too old, or the amount too small, I would get bank car finance, it will cost a whole lot less

So to recap on the question, should I take a personal loan?

If it’s going to make you more money, then yes.

If it’s going to enrich your life, then maybe.

If it’s to pay for everyday consumables, then no.

Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

How to stick to a budget

We discussed how to set up a budget in a previous article, and I have spoken to a lot of people who say that sticking to a budget is really difficult. It is advisable to read our quick and easy way to set up a budget before you read this article.

How to stick to a budget

And yes sticking to a budget is difficult because things change all the time and there are always unplanned expenses which you have to build into a budget, normally where there is not a lot of extra money to just take out and pay.

So your budget is set up and you included all your income and expenses as accurately as you can.

Now you decide upfront how much you will be spending on each item next month, there is no point in treating your budget like a rear view mirror and seeing where you went wrong last month.  Your budget is an ongoing document, so if one of the kids loses their jersey in the middle of winter, you can check and see if there is money in the budget, if there’s not enough money allowed for clothing, then what you will cut to be able to afford it.  It’s very important to keep the numbers at the bottom the same even if there are unexpected expenses, because either you will go into the red if you don’t, or something like your savings plans for the December holiday will be affected.

READ MORE: How to fix a bad debt review

Are there ways that you have seen other people use, which make it easier not to make mistakes when working with your budget?

There are some ways that I have seen people use, and there are many different ones.

Keep the savings separate from the household money and set up a stop order to transfer the money to the savings account on payday.

Separate the money for necessities that you use through the month, like money for petrol and food, your money for bread and milk etc, and even open a separate cheap bank account with a debit card.

If you have debt, get rid of that as soon as possible, allocate extra money to the debt.  This will free up cash when they are paid up for savings and long term plans.

What is the difference between someone who makes a success with their budget and someone who just struggles on or gives up on the budget idea?

Ask for help if something doesn’t make sense, speak to friends and family about ways they reduce costs.

Equally important is your mental attitude.  You have to see the benefits and even if it takes a while, done properly the benefits will show.  Many valuable things in life take time.

READ MORE: Lay-bye instead of using your credit card

Being in control of your finances and knowing that you will not run out of something or have to take loans or use credit cards to fund your lifestyle is a confidence-building feeling.  Saving for something you and your family want or need, and achieving that goal is very satisfying.  Involving your family in the decision making and goal achieving makes it even better because you are teaching others how money works, and how to work with money.

If you need help with setting up a budget, or struggling to stick to your budget, contact RD Debt Counselling and let us help you today.

How to set up a budget. Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

How to set up a budget

In this article, Russell Dickerson, owner of RD Debt Counselling, discusses how to set up a budget.

I find setting up a budget really difficult, how can I make setting a budget easier for myself?

The success of sticking to a budget depends largely on how well you set-up your budget in the first place.

“Poor planning gives poor results.”

Budgeting is not easy.  Particularly when coupled with the very real possibility of life happening and forcing budget and planning adjustments.

READ MORE: How to stick to a budget

Who should be in charge of the budget in a family, and should the rest of the family be involved?

Every house needs a financial controller. Financial management by committee seldom works. You can make the decisions by committee, but do choose a financial controller.

Every member of the house should buy in to the process and see the benefits.  If part of your budget is to buy new sports goods for the kids, and you need to save over a few months, and they know about it; they will help with the savings and be committed.

What tips have you got about what exactly to do to set up a budget?

Choose a place to record everything. For the tech-savvy, this will probably be your phone.  For the rest a small Croxley notebook or something in between, tablet, reader, diary.  Choose something that you can carry with you easily.

You have to be honest, there’s no point in ignoring certain costs, no matter what they are, give them a code, and put them in.

For one whole month, payday to payday, the financial controller in the house needs to record every cost including the break-time chips and midday thirst quencher. The easiest place to start is with the month-end deductions. If needed, draw a bank statement.

Once you have all the costs add them to your computer or paper budget, a computer’s much easier because everything can be automatically calculated and easily changed.

You can split the costs into groups that fit together.  Keep the groceries and bread and milk and lunchboxes etc together, so that you can see how much it costs to feed the family for a month. Do the same with all the other costs, and add subgroups if necessary.

Now add the groups and subgroups.  You have your expenses for the month.

Now, normally at the top, you add your income and subtract your expenses.  If the result is negative, you have a problem, you are spending more than you get in, and you have to make some cuts.  If positive you have to decide what to do with the extra money, savings, investments, emergency fund, it’s your decision.

ALSO READ: UIF – who can claim for UIF and how much will you get out?

If you are not sure how to set up a budget and need some assistance, contact us today and let’s work out a budget plan suited for your needs.

What is good debt and what is bad debt? Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

What is good debt and what is bad debt?

I get asked this question very often, and let me be the first to say that the answer is not the same for everybody.

Many people will say “no debt is good debt.”

Let’s take a look at GOOD DEBT

If you define good debt, it is normally debt that improves your net wealth, in other words, makes you richer.

The famous old saying: “it takes money to make money.”

So, if you borrow money and you turn that money into more money, then it must be good debt.

Take your house bond, for example.  You borrow a great deal of money and buy a house, this costs you every month, but on a house, you benefit in two ways. First, you are not paying rent, and, second, the value of the house goes up.

Probably the best debt you can get.

Then, what is the worst debt?

I think the worst debt is debt that you get when you are in a panic, you have run out of money and the month is not yet over, and you take a month-end loan to buy food and put petrol in the car.

READ MORE: How to fix a bad debt review

The food and petrol is finished in a week and the month end loan is deducted, plus interest and costs, in one go at the end of next month.

These types of loans are the most expensive legal loans that you can take.

In short, a month-end loan to pay for consumables is probably the worst type of debt you can take.

So, we said that month end loans are bad, but let’s look at a guy who does private jobs on the weekend.

He takes month end loans to buy stock.  With the loan money, he buys all the electrical stock. When the job is finished, he gets paid and he pays back the loan before the end of next month.

Plus, he made a profit after the loan was deducted.

That’s a good loan for him, and he used the money to make more money.

Let’s move on to credit cards.

Credit cards are wonderful IF you use them wisely.  If you pay for your monthly purchases with your card, and before the due date to pay, you settle the full amount, that’s good credit.

ALSO READ: Lay-bye instead of using your credit card

 

And then, on Friday night you are partying with friends. When you have had a few drinks, you decide to buy the whole table a round on your credit card. Later, when the waiter brings the machine, you wonder who ordered so may expensive drinks and you have to use the budget option over 6 months. That’s bad credit.

READ MORE: What is responsible credit?

And lastly something very important:

Let’s talk about education

Education is the key to more money.  It’s been proven over and over, the higher your qualification the more you earn.

When you take a student loan to get a higher qualification that will earn you more money, it must be good credit, right?

Big businesses know this and will loan their employees money to study further in a direction that will benefit the business.

And that’s the key.

If it’s going to earn you more money, then its good credit for a good education.

Then there is education that enriches your life, the pottery, the flower arranging course at the church, or the pilot’s license that you always wanted do to do,

Should you borrow money or save money for them?  After you have finished the course, you are probably not going to make more money, but they could make you happier.  There will be many different opinions, so I’ll leave the answer up to you.

Is this good credit or bad credit?

If you feel like credit is getting you down, don’t forget that we’re here to help. Come chat to us at RD Debt Counselling and let’s see how we can help you.

Will I lose my phone upgrade, or not be able to rent a house if I am under debt review? Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

Will I lose my phone upgrade, or not be able to rent a house if I am under debt review?

These questions are asked constantly, and for good reason.

The short and legally correct answer is no.  But, if it’s not a problem, why are people constantly asking the question?

I believe the answer is two-fold.

Firstly, not many people understand the difference between a credit agreement and a service agreement.

Everyday examples of Credit agreements are loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and all the store cards.  Service agreements are phone accounts, policies, insurance and accounts like your monthly municipal accounts, and then your rent.

In debt review, we reduce the amount that you pay on your Credit Agreements and we leave the service agreements alone, and they carry on as they always did.

READ MORE: How to fix a bad debt review

As part of the debt review application process, you will need to supply the amounts that you are spending on Service agreements, and this is to put a complete picture of your personal finances together in the court documents which the magistrate will assess.

Secondly…

Someone in debt review should not be discriminated against, if they can demonstrate affordability and have a good payment record.

When you make most financial applications today, a credit report will be drawn and your debt review status will be visible.  The credit report will also tell them what your payment history was like, and whether you have any judgments.  A company entering into a contract wants to know who they are dealing with.

The affordability issue is one we come across regularly from clients who apply for a new contract or want to rent a new property.  We supply a letter which states what the affordability of the client was  when they applied, or a new assessment is done, if you have for example had a pay increase.

Something that we as Debt Counsellors cannot change is the payment history and the judgments. Many people blame debt review because they are turned down when in fact it’s because they have a poor payment history prior to debt review.

The, of course,e you do get the Cell Companies and letting agents who do from time to time change their minds, or some of the staff don’t understand the law and we do have unreasonable refusals.

ALSO READ: What is responsible credit?

Despite those that do not follow the law, you do have protection and can insist on your legal right.

If you are still struggling with your finances, and you can’t keep your head above water, contact RD Debt Counselling for a FREE debt review.

How to fix a bad debt review. Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

How to fix a bad debt review

No matter what happens, no matter who says what, the only way to fix a bed debt review is to pay every month – even pay your creditors directly.  This is your best defense!!

Having problems with your debt review, getting calls from creditors to say your debt review hasn’t been paid, can’t get hold of your debt counsellor?

These are real situations and you need to fix them, otherwise you can be stuck in debt review for much longer than planned in the original proposal.

READ MORE: How to know if your debt counsellor is a registered debt counsellor

Mistakes happen. Last week, I saw a case where there should have been one charge in the first month, but whoever loaded the info made the charge every month, so this person got charged an initiation fee of about R950 every month, and it was left for 2 years, so the problem was about R16 000 big when it was discovered.

Check your statements.  That is rule number one, get one every month and check that everyone got paid the right amount.

Some people, who have paid their debt review every month, suddenly get a call to say that the bank hasn’t received money this month. It happens, banks work in straight lines, so if there are 2 payments in one month and nothing the month after, then their system says no payment this month and then they will phone you. There can be other reasons too.  Don’t overreact and assume all your money has been stolen.

If you follow a fairly quick process you can find out what the real story is.

First…

Contact your debt counsellor –We get these fairly often, and we print out the payment statement and mail it to the person, to prove that there is a mistake.

Contact your PDA  – Your Payment Distribution Agency,  contact them with your details and they will tell you who they paid and will be able to send you a statement.

Contact your creditors – Phone the bank and ask them when last they received payment, and the amounts paid.  Some accounts you can log into and look at your payments profile.

Second…

If none of the above worked, or you still have unanswered questions or you suspect something.

Inform your Debt Counsellor in writing and keep a copy – if the problem is your Debt Counsellor then use the mail address on their documents.

Give them a reasonable time to reply, if still nothing – consider approaching another Debt Counsellor (The law allows you to transfer) and;

Contact the National Credit Regulator – if you find something illegal or are unhappy with the conduct of your Debt Counsellor or your Credit Provider. The NCR has a complaints department, go to their website and get the forms for an official complaint.  Sometimes if you phone you could have success, but a serious complaint will involve lots of forms and scanning proof etc.  But it is very important to resolve, as this will affect your financial future.

And no matter what happens, pay every month.

If you are still struggling with your finances, and you can’t keep your head above water, contact RD Debt Counselling for a FREE debt review.

Festive season finances 101 – How to survive until 31 January. Need debt counselling? Contact RD Debt Counselling at 011 421 2918 today.

Festive season finances 101 – How to survive until 31 January

The festive season and the holidays can be a wonderful time of the year to enjoy with family and friends, but don’t let a lack of financial control ruin your holiday.

There are many people who look at the festive season and say “ Well I’m always broke by the time Christmas is over”, and if those could have been your words, then you are not alone.

The Festive Season is not a time to stick your head in the sand and spend like January will never come. School fees and school clothes are a January reality.  Planning for children’s education is a necessity and scratching your head while you try to reconcile your finances in January only creates anxiety and stress and is no fun.

Perhaps it’s time to take control this festive season and make sure that you are financially fit when “Auld Lang Syne” is behind you and 2019 lies ahead.

But what can we do differently this Christmas, and how do we make it happen?

BUDGETING

The most important component of a good festive season is a budget.

Don’t go into the festive season without a budget.

Before buying any presents, pay all your monthly commitments.  Pay your monthly debt, insurance, Security company (very NB this time of year) and all the other bits, and then work out your Christmas spending.

When you are planning your gift list, use your reward programs to save money.

If you get paid early in December remember that the money needs to last until the end of January.

Self-Control – Even if you do a perfect budget, the hardest part is sticking to your budget.  Make sure your budget isn’t just used to measure how much you overspent.

THE CREDIT CARD

Don’t bash your plastic!!!

Lock your credit card in the safe or cupboard, so that you are very aware when you take it out, and resist the urge to use it.  It will help you maintain your budget.  There’s no point in going into 2019 with more debt than you had in 2018.

The present economy is not forgiving on people with lots of debt.

READ MORE: Lay-bye instead of using your credit card

STORE CREDIT

This is not the time to use store credit to buy presents and food and decorations.  Why start 2019 paying back Christmas 2018.

READ MORE: What is responsible credit?

BONUS

If you’re lucky enough to be receiving a bonus or 13th cheque this year, be smart with it by using the majority to pay off debt, school fees or back-to-school expenses. Pay an extra installment on your home loan or save part of it for any unexpected expenses in 2019

2018 has at the very least been a challenging year financially, and although there are some brighter signs on the horizon, I don’t think 2019 will be much different.  So spoil yourself responsibly.  Work a bit of affordable fun and spoiling into your budget, you got to the end of 2018 intact, you deserve it.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and have a wonderful festive season.

Thank you to all who are working over Christmas and New Year, without all of you in the essential services, the rest couldn’t have a holiday.

If you are still struggling with your finances, and you can’t keep your head above water, contact RD Debt Counselling for a FREE debt review.

Russell Dickerson from RD Debt Counselling chats about RD Debt Counselling and how they can help you become debt free in the shortest possible time. Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 8:15.

The SA banking Sector is facing some serious disruptions

The SA banking sector is facing some serious disruptions

The economy is pretty shaky right now, business confidence is low, load shedding is starting again, and yet it is reported that there are 6 new banks entering the South African market.

Some of them are completely new, some are revamped and retrofits, but they are competing with the traditional big 4, and there are some jitters in the banking fraternity.

Standard Bank group CEO Sim Tshabalala stated in a BusinessDay report that they were “bracing for the potential disruption Discovery Bank will bring.”

Discovery will be joining Michael Jordaan’s bank Zero, Tyme Digital is Patrice Motsepe and African Rainbow Capitals new entrant, SA Postbank is renewing its offering, Young Women in Business Network is launching a co-operative bank, and African Bank following their bailout are relaunching transactional banking, and Capitec is busy buying Imperial Bank from its Portuguese owners and entering the business banking sector.

The main interest in the new entrants has been those that are offering a completely digital bank, no branches, and operated on a smartphone.  They are offering virtually no fees and “reasonable” interest rates on Credit balances, and some are not entering the loans market.

READ MORE: Lay-bye instead of using your credit card

The existing big four are expected to counter this new onslaught, and FNB, Nedbank Standard bank and ABSA have recently been revamping products and services and marketing and enhancing their loyalty programmes.

 

TymeDigital

They have been transferring money for quite a while, but are set to open as a full financial services provider.  In a deal with Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and African Rainbow Capital the new bank is aiming to attract the lower to middle-class market, as well as micro to medium-sized businesses.

Their website offers the ability to open an account now.

READ MORE: Banking and saving for children – teach children about money

 

Capitec

Capitec is buying Imperial bank, the sale, however, remains subject to the prudential authority and the competition commission.

 

Bank Zero

Will be entirely digital and handle all of its services and communications via an app, and all banking can be done on a smartphone.  They will not offer credit.They are targeting a younger, more tech savvy market that wants to do their banking the same way they interact with other digital media.

Initially Michael Jordaan planned to launch at the end of 2018, but it now appears on social media that early 2019 is more realistic.

 

Discovery Bank

Discovery card, as all good debt counsellors know, is handled by FNB.  Discovery is buying back their quarter of a million primary cardholders and will be entering the market as a full financial service provider.

After years of existing through FNB, Discovery Bank is prepared to function independently as a fully-fledged financial services entity. With around a quarter of a million primary cardholders, the bank will launch on a good footing.  They have the advantage of an already strong brand through their medical and other products.

 

African Bank

African bank after their good bank, bad bank split is set to re-launch transactional services with an account called “My World Account”.  This will be managed through the African bank website, an app, or on their cellphone.  They are also punting very low fees in competition to the more traditional banks.

 

Postbank

This is not really a new bank, as they already do savings accounts and basic transactions, and take term deposits.

They want to enter the full-service banking sector with cards, deposits and other products, but first they need a banking license.

Siyabonga Cwele, the Telecoms and Postal Services minister, has confirmed that the bank is expected to have its fully-functional banking services by March 2019.  He also expects the bank to play a more of a development role than compete head-on with the big four.

 

Young Women in Business Network

This women led bank is operating on a type of “stokvel” model and would like to become registered co-operative bank.  They expect to attract black entrepreneurs and the informal economy.  They need to reach 1 000 members to be registered as a co-operative bank.  The public can already apply to be part of the bank and the minimum share capital deposit fee is R10 000.  Co-operative banks are wholly owned by their members.

 

Capitec

Capitec has been around for a good few years now and has grown into a formidable bank which has weathered the Viceroy credibility storm and emerged to move forward.

Capitec is also set to join the “big” banks and through specialist business bank, Imperial bank, will now be entering the business banking market which is where they fell short in the past.

These disruptions are normally good for the consumer because all banks will be looking at areas where they can offer cheaper and better products more conveniently and I think there is a lot of creative headscratching in many of the marble towers.

So expect to have a lot of options available in the future at better prices for more rewards.  The old banks will evolve and change because new entrants are coming and this should provide an option for everyone to find a bank where they feel comfortable; from the permanently connected youth to the informal streetside trader.  Everybody needs a bank and those that offer clients convenience at the right price will survive and flourish as our economy grows and improves.

READ MORE: What is responsible credit?

UIF – who can claim for UIF and how much will you get out?

What is UIF? 

UIF stands for Unemployment Insurance Fund and it was set up by government to provide interim relief to workers who are between jobs, and women on maternity leave.

UIF is available to employees who have involuntarily lost their job and income.

The important word here is involuntary. In simple terms, if it was your choice, you don’t get paid, if it was something you did not choose, then you get paid.

How to claim UIF

If you are looking to claim from UIF, it helps to understand:

  1. the process;
  2. whether you qualify to claim.

There’s no point getting all your documents together, spending hours in the queue and discovering you don’t qualify for UIF.

Who doesn’t qualify for UIF? 

You can’t claim UIF if you lost your job because you committed fraud, or if you resign from your job,

but you can claim if you were on a contract that ended – as long as the employer terminated your services and not you.

You can also claim if your employer goes bankrupt, your contract ends,  you are fired or retrenched.

This is very important to note – you have to lodge within six months of the date that you stopped working.

READ MORE: What services do we offer at RD Debt Counselling

How much will you get paid when you claim UIF? 

These two sites have a UIF calculator:

www.ezuif.co.za

www.uif-hero.co.za

The Department of Labour takes 2 criteria into consideration:

  • your salary over the last 4 years, and
  • your UIF contributions over the last 4 years

I entered information for someone earning R15 000 who has been working and contributing for the maximum period of 4 years and who is going on maternity leave.

The total that this lady will get paid is R22 000.

This should be paid in four monthly payments of about R5 500 per month.

In reality, the Department of Labour takes up to 8 weeks to approve your claim, so the first payment will be for 2 months (about R11 000) and then followed by 2 more monthly payments of R5 500 each. The above payment examples are estimates and close, but the Department makes the final calculation.

Remember that you no longer qualify for UIF if you start working.

How much do you need to contribute to UIF?

  • Employee –  1% of your gross salary
  • Then 1% contributed by the employer, so a total of 2% of gross salary is paid to the fund
  • The maximum contribution which can be deducted is R148.72 per month, so the max salary is R14 872 per month. It’s an easy calculation
  • If you earn R10 000 you pay R100
  • If you earn R4 862, you pay R48.62

I am self-employed. Can I claim UIF?

If you are self-employed you cannot register to pay UIF, so business people who are sole traders cannot claim.  Most of the professions like doctors lawyers etc who are self-employed, do not contribute and therefore cannot claim.  The only situation where you can claim is if you register a company (a separate legal entity) and the company pays you a salary and UIF is deducted, then you can claim.

You don’t have to pay UIF if:

  • You are employed by your employer for less than 24 hours a month, or
  • If you work for government

All of that said, this could change tomorrow, as there have been changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act.

The Amendment Act was passed in January 2017 but needs to be signed by the president before it can come into effect. So it could be tomorrow or never.

Important changes in the Amendment Act

Public servants will be included in the UIF for the first time.

Women on maternity leave who paid into the UIF for 13 weeks or more will now receive a flat rate of 66% of their salary (up to the maximum benefit of R17 712 per month), instead of 38% to 60%.

These are the main changes. If you want to see all the changes on the new Act, visit www.ufiling.co.za/Home/ActsAndAmendments.

READ MORE: Financial stress in the workplace

SUMMARY

  1. You only get benefits if you lose your job and not if you resign
  2. You need to claim within 6 months
  3. You contribute 1% and your employer another 1% with a max of R148.72 per month each
  4. You don’t pay UIF and can’t claim if you work for the government
  5. There are changes to the Act, but the president needs to sign before it is implemented

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Black Friday – the Do’s and Don’ts

Black Friday – the Do’s and Don’ts

Black Friday is upon us again and there is lots of excitement, lots of expectations and lots of hope for a really cheap deal.

But before you race out on Friday, you should do a few things to prevent waking up on Saturday morning with buyers regret about things you bought that you don’t need, and even worse if you overspend, and do it on credit, the pain could last a lot longer.

Now, don’t think that we have anything against Black Friday.  While we are not going to join the bun fight, some of our friends and family will, and if they are prepared to persevere to get a really good deal, that’s wonderful.

READ MORE: What is responsible credit?

There are a few things to do before Black Friday to make sure that you have a pleasant experience.

  1. Work with a budget – know exactly what your maximum spend is, know exactly how much cash you have, and very importantly…
  2. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. There will be a shopping frenzy, you will be tempted to buy things you don’t need because they are so cheap, don’t be tempted to over spend.
  3. Do your research. Not all retailers are ethical and some will put up the price this week so that they can offer a bigger discount on Black Friday. Decide what you need or want, and go online and see what the best normal price is that you can find, and write it down.
  4. Make a list of all the things you want to buy and how much you are prepared to pay for each item.
  5. Don’t use debt to buy anything, unless you have the cash to pay it off at the end of the month in full and avoid interest charges, why buy something cheap on credit and then pay interest and costs on it that sounds counter-productive to me.

Black Friday is going to be the start of the holiday debt season for a lot of people, and a lot of people are going to wake up on Saturday, not with a hangover, but with regret for not controlling the buying urge, and that hangover will last a lot longer if you bought things you don’t need on credit.

We don’t believe that the economy is going to improve anytime soon.

READ MORE: Lay-bye instead of using your credit card

Everyone should be keeping some money in savings for the unexpected, don’t be tempted to spend all your reserves on Black Friday and the holiday season which is basically upon us.

January is never an easy month, so keep your emotions in check on Friday, have a plan, do your research and most important of all, don’t buy items you don’t need on credit.

And if you have done all the right things, then have a fun Black Friday and we hope the discounts are huge.