Be­ware of fi­nan­cial han­gover af­ter party

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - NEO BAEPI

AF­TER THE party, comes the han­gover. That’s the warn­ing from lead­ing econ­o­mist Mike Schus­sler who be­lieves deb­trid­den South Africans splurg­ing on the World Cup and its as­sort­ment of para­pher­na­lia may pay the price for their fi­nan­cial care­less­ness.

“I an­tic­i­pate a han­gover af­ter the huge World Cup party … Con­sumers are spend­ing as if it was Christ­mas time. Peo­ple are up­grad­ing their TV sets and are spend­ing ex­tra on World Cup para­pher­na­lia,” he said.

He fore­sees a “De­cem­ber ef­fect” among some con­sumers. That’s when a month of ex­ces­sive spend­ing is fol­lowed by two fi­nan­cially slow months. It usu­ally ap­plies to the Christ­mas pe­riod but July and Au­gust are not go­ing to be easy, econ­o­mists state.

It’s easy for debt-struck con­sumers to ig­nore their bills be­cause of the huge buzz that the soc­cer spec­ta­cle has set off, they said.

Some pre­dict the er­ratic spend­ing could see con­sumers fall be­hind on their pay­ments. Debt Busters, too, has ex­pe­ri­enced a surge in debt coun­selling in­quiries, which could well turn into ap­pli­ca­tions.

“The eu­pho­ria of be­ing caught in the World Cup has brought about a spate in over­spend­ing on World Cup mem­o­ra­bilia, tick­ets and en­ter­tain­ment,” said Luke Hirst, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Debt Busters, who be­lieves the ef­fects will last a long time.

Hirst sug­gests con­sumers stick to a bud­get. An­other way to avoid the post-World Cup han­gover is to avoid fall­ing be­hind on monthly pay­ments.

Con­sumers can find in­no­va­tive ways to have fun and spend less at the same time. Schus­sler ad­vises that “hav­ing a tra­di­tional bring and braai with fam­ily and friends or go­ing to fan parks to watch matches” could help con­sumers cut back on un­nec­es­sary spend­ing.

“Con­sumers should have a dif­fer­ent ap­proach as to how they wish to en­joy the World Cup. Also, con­sumers should think about the long-ter m ef­fects that un­rea­son­able over­spend­ing may have on them. Fi­nan­cial times are dif­fi­cult as it is. Con­sumers don’t know how to man­age their debt and are ac­cu­mu­lat­ing too much of it for un­nec­es­sary World Cup ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Hirst added that debt­strapped con­sumers could ne­go­ti­ate with their banks.

“Ne­go­ti­a­tion is an art form that any­one can learn and you will be sur­prised how much ex­tra money this can put in your pocket,” he said.

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