Black Friday – 6 Tips To Shop Smart And Avoid The Debt Trap

On Friday 29 November, billions of shoppers around the world will be trolley dashing for Black Friday. While it’s an opportune time to cash in on good deals and tackle that Christmas shopping list, it’s also a gateway to overspending before the festive season even begins.

According to BankservAfrica, South Africans spent R2 897 897 379 on Black Friday sales in 2018, 15.92% more than 2017.

“Before you decide to go big this Black Friday, it’s important to make sure you’ve made provision for all the things you need to pay for before you blow your budget on all the things you want. Don’t feel pressured to take advantage of every deal you see. Lack of control can not only result in you buying things you don’t need, but could easily land you in debt over the festive season,” says Susan Steward from Budget Insurance.

To help you to avoid falling into the urge-to-spend trap and pocket some of your money this Black Friday, Budget Insurance offers these helpful tips:

  1. Budget beforehand – setting a budget will help you to guide and limit your spending. If you’re planning to buy gifts, budget per person so that you know exactly what you can afford to spend on each of them.
  2. Compare prices, pronto – during the year’s biggest promotional event, you may assume you’re getting the best prices but this isn’t always the case. So to avoid getting duped, do your research before making your purchase.
  3. Shop smart with your smartphone – download money saving and budgeting apps like Spending Tracker, which allows you to set your budget, log your transactions, and track your spending.
  4. Give those wish lists a reality check – manage your kids’ expectations when it comes to Christmas gifts. Many parents find themselves dipping into their savings after overspending on their kids’ gifts.  
  5. Plan what gifts you are going to buy and shop with a purpose. Don’t wonder around the shopping centre aimlessly because you will end-up buying items you didn’t plan for and over-spend.
  6. An expensive month is around the corner – keep in mind that the month when many of us have the least to spare also happens to be a very expensive one, especially for parents who need to pay for school uniforms and school fees.

“Remember that a day of over-indulgence can wreak havoc on your bank account and land you in serious debt if you are not careful.  That’s no way to start the festive season or 2020,” concludes Steward.

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