Black Friday is coming and it is the biggest shopping day in South Africa, so whilst retailers are getting ready to reveal their discounts, financial service groups are urging consumers to shop with caution.
As consumers, we are already carrying an immense amount of debt and even though Black Friday will give us a chance to get those items we want at discounted prices, we need to be smart about it so we don’t end up in further financial trouble.
According to Bayport, a loan and insurance group, shoppers are seduced by the number of deals and specials that are available on the day, but with budgets already being tight, consumers run the risk of getting into more debt. So, the rule is easy enough…don’t spend what you haven’t got.
So, here are tips that can help you to not blow your budget this Black Friday.
Have a Game Plan
Retailers always have a plan ahead of Black Friday and so should you. Black Friday is now a yearly event in South Africa and ideally, you should start planning for the following year once the current year is done.
When you are planning for Black Friday, you should have saved up some money so that you don’t need to use your monthly cash flow and budget. Also, have a list ready of the things that you want to get your hands on instead of just buying items for the sake of buying them because they are on special.
Don’t Spend Beyond Your Limit
You will need to know what your budget limits are. It is a bad idea to pile purchases on to your credit card until its maxed out and it is even a worse idea to increase your credit limit in preparation for Black Friday, because you are then just going to get into a heap of debt trouble. When debt is unplanned then it becomes difficult to pay it off.
Have a limit in place that you can afford and stick to it.
What’s Happening with Your Money
You need to know your money. How much you earn, what your monthly expenses are and the balance that is left once everything has been paid for.
You should take a look at your bank statements each month and ensure they are correct. When you get into the habit of reviewing your finances regularly then you will gain a better understanding of your money and will be less tempted to overdo it on Black Friday.
If you are on the hunt for a bargain, then you need to shop smart. If you have items in your cart that you were already planning to buy and have budgeted for then getting these items on Black Friday can save you money.
Black Friday is also a great time to get Christmas presents. Make a list of who you need to get gifts for and what gifts you want to get them. You might be able to get some good deals for some presents on Black Friday.
However, if you buy something on Black Friday that you didn’t plan on buying in any case then you will be going outside your budget. If you are using money that was meant for something else then you may find you can’t spend as much on groceries or going out or you will just blow your budget, which isn’t good.
Have a plan, know what you want to buy and have a budget and stick to it so you can avoid overspending this Black Friday.