Thursday, March 4, 2021

Buying on credit might be hazardous to your wallet!

I laughed really hard when I watched the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, especially when the lead character, Rebecca Bloomwood, chanted the words, “They used to call me valued customer, now they are sending me hate mail.”

A few moments later, something clicked in my head and I found myself thinking: ‘this actually happens’.

And today, I am thinking that if you find yourself with a bunch of ‘hate mail’ from stores that claim to care for you, then maybe, it’s just time to think about your shopping choices, especially buying on credit!

The festive season is just around the corner and, of course, the excitement rises by the day.

Clearly human beings have turned this holiday into one big excuse or reason for shopping. Christmas has become so commercialized.

Buying on credit! Of course, we pay for it thereafter. Buying on credit is sweet. All you need is your plastic card and you click away. You even fail to see if you exceed your limit!

By now we should have realized that these shops are turncoats, praising you for walking into the store and thanking you for buying their products. They invite you to their sale promotions and never seize to flash their meaningful taglines before you.

You spend the next term of your life buying at these stores that promise you, “their customer”, that you are the best thing ever.

And then they turn against you and start sending you reminders as the language slowly takes a change, while the interest charges make you dizzy.
Now they want their money and don’t care about their valued customer.
The only reason they send you mail now is because you owe them. The camaraderie is over; they want their money.

You have a limited time now, unlike when you had to shop or pick clothes in their store.

The use of credit cards and buying on credit are both financial traps that should be avoided at all costs!
An online source says, “When you buy on credit, there’s some risk involved, because you can’t predict your financial future. It’s safer to stay within your own means and spend what you actually have in your pocket.

However, if you are going to use credit, it’s best to limit yourself to what you really need and make repayments at a level you can afford. Running up a large credit card bill and paying off just the interest every month, results in your money not working for you, loss of control over your finances, and a lot of stress.”

At most, when purchasing goods, we work on spending a certain limit of money available to us then but stores offer you instant credit. This usually means that you can take away your purchases that day without having to hand over money there and then. It works more or less like a credit card and you will be charged interest if you do not pay in full before the stated date.

You can get some perks when you take out a store card as they sometimes offer discounts or special customer evenings prior to sales. However, you should weigh the responsibility and the convenience of the card.

Will you use it much – or too much?
Store cards usually charge higher interest than ordinary credit cards, so they should generally be avoided.

You find that when the shopping frenzy is over, you may find yourself in debt.
We are certainly aware of how rough the beginning of the year is. I have not come across anyone who is certain that the month of January is good in financial terms; instead people cringe at the thought of it.

The information to take with you when you finally take to buying on credit and using store cards is to understand first that what you are getting into is more like borrowing. As in hire purchase.

Whenever you want to borrow money be absolutely sure you can pay it off, and while at it you avoid ‘bo machonisa’ (loan sharks) with higher interest.

For those whose hate mail is already rolling in because of the bills and letters and calls from some law firm, you know you need damage control. You can’t hide away, because the more you do the more your interest piles up.
I know that no one wants to spend 30 years of their life paying off a debt. Don’t avoid them. Go talk to them and possibly forestall some nasty encounters in court or the loss of some long paid for property.


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