The shopping frenzy of Black Friday is just around the corner and many South Africans are counting the days to get the best deals.
However, if one goes shopping without a plan, they’re likely to regret it. Susan Steward from Budget Insurance cautions that 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.
“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 cannot only result in you buying things you don’t need, but could easily land you in debt over the festive season,” she says.
“When you buy something on Black Friday that you didn’t plan to buy in any event, you’re going outside of your budget. The simple rule is don’t spend what you haven’t got,” says Tessa Verwoerdt, the HOD of Money Solutions Centre, Debtor Rehabilitation at Bayport.
Steward and Verwoerdt share these useful tips for when shopping this Black Friday.
Budget beforehand. Setting a budget will help guide and limit your spending. If you’re planning to buy gifts, budget per person so you know exactly what you can afford to spend on each of them.
Know your limits. It is a bad plan to pile purchases onto your credit card until it is maxed out. Even worse is to increase your credit limit in preparation for Black Friday – that is just looking for debt trouble. Whenever debt is unplanned, it is likely to become difficult to pay off.
Be a clever bargain hunter. The key to bargain-hunting without breaking the bank comes down to a simple yes-or-no question. Were you already planning to buy the items you now have in your hands or your online shopping basket?
If the answer is yes, then getting those items on Black Friday is a win. You probably already budgeted for them and now, instead of paying full price, you get to keep some hard-earned rands in your pocket. It can also be a good opportunity to get some great Christmas present deals if you’ve done your homework about good bargains and have drawn up a list of recipients and potential gift items.
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.
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.