FNB Namibia on beating Janu-worry

 

The festive season is a time of high risk for impulse spending – buying something because you see it, not because you need it. In light of Namibia’s economic downturn, fostering healthy spending behaviour has been top of mind for their citizens. Martha Murorua, Executive Officer for Consumer Banking at FNB Namibia, shares her thoughts.

 

This year, Namibians were reminded how working together towards a common purpose can benefit a nation despite the tough economic climate. Families and businesses learned to appreciate their resources and be resilient in the face of change, much like the Namibian desert lions who can survive in a harsh environment where it may only rain 5mm in some years. Creating a secure future starts with building positive habits – for individuals and retailers alike.

 

Martha quotes David Silvera, professor of Marketing and Social Psychology at the University of Texas, who studies the negative impact of impulse buying on wellbeing and self-esteem. He says although moderate levels of spontaneous shopping can be satisfying (especially for Christmas or other special occasions), research shows that frequently buying what you don’t need as a way to escape negative emotions is a compulsive problem.

Once the lustre wears off, the same negative emotions often return with greater intensity. And there is nothing feel-good about shopping if it places you in a compromised financial position.

 

Prof Silvera also believes retailers have a role to play by ensuring their marketing messages promote responsible spending behaviours. While impulsive spending by customers may be good for profits in the short-term, these consumers may quickly become credit risks for retailers and finance companies alike. Sustainable profits and social acclaim are the rewards reaped by retailers that adopt responsible consumer spending strategies.

“As Namibians, let’s stay aware of the impact of frivolous spending – and practice responsible spending to start 2019 on a positive note”, concludes Murorua.