This Friday, 28th November will be one of the busiest shopping days of the year as British shoppers will spend around £6,000 every second this Black Friday according to British Retail Consortium.
This year alone, it has been forecasted by Tom Parry of The Mirror that over £5 billion pounds will be spent on Black Friday; it’s now dubbed one of the largest shopping days of the year in the United Kingdom, competing with Cyber Monday and the beginning of the January sales.
Black Friday incentivises shopping due to the “promised” savings offered by many retailers who are keen to get Christmas purchases seriously “Kick started”. Used carefully to buy pre-planned Christmas purchases, Black Friday can help you make serious savings. The problem is that many of us get caught in the hype and end up with unplanned and unbudgeted purchases which could seriously skew your budget and perhaps result in you resorting to using your credit card or even worse a, store card.
You can also be caught short in other ways as not all of the deals advertised are actually saving you as much money as you may think. Some items may have already been discounted prior to Black Friday and some have already been on sale at the prices listed earlier in the year.
Here is a Black Friday checklist to keep you on top of your spending this Christmas.
Have a list ready
When preparing for your shopping trip, ensure you’ve clearly outlined the purchases you are going to make. Create criteria for the item you are buying, such as size for a television or megapixels for a camera. Stick to the list you create, this will ensure you are clear on what you are buying and aren’t tempted by the multitude of offers available.
Set a budget for purchases
If you need to update your current television for example and you’ve been waiting to take advantage of the discount, make sure you stick to the budget you’ve allotted for the purchase. It will stop you being swayed by a more expensive and bigger model that is out of budget. It is also good to have a list of the prices for the products before the event and then during. That way you can identify the amount of discount that has been applied and which specific product represents the best value.
Do not open store cards on Black Friday
Retailers do, unsurprisingly, incentivise shoppers to open a store card with them on Black Friday with offers of free promotional items or other benefits such as an interest free period. Though the credit facility can prove useful if you can are have the discipline and means to pay it back before charges are incurred. However, it’s a “good way” to end up with debt that you then spend the rest of the year paying back at high interest rates.
Use the internet and comparison sites
A lot of the deals available are also now available online. This is a better alternative to in some cases queuing up to gain entry to retailers and takes away a lot of the pressure of Black Friday shopping whilst also helping you to avoid being tempted to “blow your budget”. It also allows you to compare products quickly between different retailers, which allow you to get the best deal!
What’s clear is that retailers use the day to push sales and sell excess stock at reduced prices. Being clear on what you are looking for and what savings can be made can make Black Friday a successful start to your Christmas shopping.
If you don’t need anything…
Then don’t buy anything! There is an ideology building that if you don’t participate in retail events then effectively you are missing out, this is simply not the case. Unless you have a significant need for a purchase and by buying it on Black Friday you stand to save money, there is no need to treat it as more important than any other day of the year.
Remember, if you are struggling with debt issues this Christmas, please do seek help. Whether it’s business or personal debt, The Debt Advisor can advise you on a range of solutions to help you get your finances back on track.
There is also free debt help and advice through a variety of debt charities. For more information, we recommend you visit Money Advice Service. The Debt Advisor is regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and is also a member of the DRF and we adhere to their codes and standards.
Call us today on 0800 0851 825 to speak with one of our advisors. If you’re calling from a mobile you can reach us on 0333 9999 600.