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How to avoid overspending this Black Friday

Black Friday keyboard button.
Black Friday keyboard button.

Black Friday is fast approaching and you’ve probably compiled your wish list. Read this before you get carried away and find yourself breaking into your piggy bank.

The hype around the biggest shopping day of the year can give you FOMO, especially if you’ve been eyeing that plasma, make-up kit or designer bag. Programme Manager at FNB Consumer Education, Dhashni Naidoo says it’s important to exercise caution and self-discipline when managing your money over this busy period. “Lack of financial discipline around Black Friday can easily lead to financial woes especially in these uncertain times.” He offers these expert tips to help you avoid financial distress over Black Friday.

  1. Plan your budget in advance and be honest with yourself on what you can afford. Avoid spending funds you did not budget for.
  2. Do your research ahead of time - you need to know exactly what you want to buy and determine the price of those goods upfront. Use this time to compare and understand the current price of the item you need, so that you can establish if the discounted price you see on Black Friday is favourable. Buy only what you need and not because something is on sale.
  3. Don’t use debt to buy non-essential or luxury goods. Consumers should also remember that credit incurs interest.
  4. If you’re tapping into your long-term savings or emergency saving funds, this also suggests that you may not afford to be spending on Black Friday.

Dhashni notes that it’s easy to get lured by the excitement and appealing marketing. “We are therefore tempted to buy goods simply because we are told that the prices have been reduced.” And says it’s important to understand whether there has been any substantial reduction in the price of the item you wish to buy. “The easiest way to determine if there has been a decrease is to track the price over a period of time,” he says. And further cautions against spending excessively, “and if you have a list of what you want to buy and a budget, stick to it. Just because something is labelled cheaper on Black Friday doesn’t always mean that it’s a worthwhile buy,” he concludes.

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