Black Friday: How to Shop Wisely and Avoid Debt
Black Friday, an American-born shopping phenomenon that has gained popularity in the UK, traditionally falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving. While it once lasted just one day, recent years have seen it evolve into a month-long sale, with retailers offering fantastic discounts both online and in physical stores. In 2022, consumers in the UK collectively splurged a staggering £12.3 billion over the Black Friday weekend. Although many view Black Friday as an opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts and secure deals, it can also be a difficult time for your finances. The idea of seemingly irresistible discounts can lure you into spending more than you intend, potentially leading to financial distress and debt. To assist you in making decisions during Black Friday, here are five straightforward tips to avoid accumulating debt and overspending.
Is It Really a Deal?
Retailers often advertise their deals as the “best,” but it’s important to understand that this isn’t always the case. There are times when you can find your desired items at lower prices during different parts of the year, or you might stumble upon the same product for a more affordable price at a different retailer. To guarantee that you’re making a worthwhile purchase, it’s essential to conduct research. Begin your search early and compare prices from various sellers. This approach will enable you to determine whether the deal you’re contemplating is genuinely worth it. Through this process, you can shop with more confidence and be certain that you’re getting the most value for your money.
Do You Really Need It?
The idea of Black Friday can lead to impulse buying. It’s essential to pause and ask yourself whether you genuinely need that item and whether it has a great discount or not. Instead of adding everything that looks appealing to your basket, take a step back. It is important to think through your decision before making a purchase to ensure you are not putting yourself in any debt.
Black Friday often coincides with payday weekend, which can be a double-edged sword for your budget. Before diving into Black Friday shopping, make sure that you’ve already divided your budget and put aside money for all of your essential bills and spending needs. This way, you won’t fall short in terms of any important debts or payments. Remember, accumulating debt just for a one-time deal isn’t a wise move and can lead to financial strain.
Say No to “Buy Now, Pay Later” Schemes
“Buy Now, Pay Later” options such as Klarna or ClearPay might look appealing, especially when you can’t pay for an item during the Black Friday sales. However, it’s important to recognise that these schemes carry financial dangers. They lack regulation and can lead to problems related to debt. If you can’t afford to pay for an item upfront, it’s wiser to resist the purchase and steer clear of the possible debt.
Set a Black Friday Budget
Wherever you’re shopping this Black Friday, having a budget and sticking to it is a great way to stop overspending. Many people use Black Friday to buy Christmas presents, and that’s a great idea if you can find savings. However, a budget and a shopping list will help you stick to your goals and avoid being lured by enticing offers.
If, despite your efforts, you find yourself dealing with overspending or financial issues, remember that you can consider short term loans as an option to help you bridge the gap and manage your finances more effectively during this period.