It’s that time of the year again where businesses and brands are cutting prices and coming through with major savings, which – let’s be honest – can get a little overwhelming if you don’t have a solid plan to attack the infamous Black Friday, a day on retailers calendars that’s marked as a highlight for attracting customers by lowering prices.
I’m sure you’ve already come across a lot of the adverts, marketing and promotional material around Black Friday, but before you mark 27 November 2020 as the day your bank account will simultaneously breath and stretch at the same time, don’t get too caught up in the hype. A lot of retailers know how much us shoppers are getting ready to spend for the Christmas season, so pay attention to the discount prices being flashed at you. You really don’t want to end up buying something you actually don’t need, so here’s how to budget like a boss this Black Friday.
Plan in Advance
This may sound obvious (or in my case, tedious) but the most important thing that you can do for Black Friday is to simply plan in advance.
Get familiar and comfortable with your realistic budget and make a plan that helps you ensure you won’t go over your limit. Take the time to write a list of items that you actually need; this helps you avoid buying random things simply because they were heavily discounted. If you don’t need it, leave it. You really aren’t saving yourself any money if you buy something that you don’t actually need.
You want to be strategic in your planning so make sure that the list of items you create include the essentials that will be discounted first. Then, you can add the non-essentials.
TIP: Write out all your expenses and identify the items you buy most frequently; this is what you may want to buy in bulk to save some coins.
It also helps to read up and research, in advance, for the deals you have your eyes on. It genuinely helps to compare the discounts that will be available for Black Friday, so take the time to research which stores have the better discount (P.S. It actually does help to sign up for early access to Black Friday deals – it might be annoying in the beginning but sign up for those Black Friday newsletters).
There’s also Cyber Monday
While much of the hype is centered around Black Friday, Cyber Monday can also be a great day of savings. Apart from the difference between the two being the day of the week, Cyber Monday tends to be more online (although there are physical stores that also participate in Cyber Monday).
Now you’ve probably already started seeing some discounts throughout the month of November, the biggest (perhaps the best) discounts of the month really will be between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a normal thing for retailers to gear you up throughout the month before attracting customers to the grand finale over the Black Friday weekend; as you plan for Black Friday, keep Cyber Monday at the back of your mind (I don’t think it’s necessary to buy much on this day, especially if you already have your essentials from Black Friday)
I mean it – relax on Black Friday. At the end of the day, this is all just “stuff” that you will be buying, and you want to buy things that actually make sense to buy.
A few questions to ask:
- Does this item add to my life in the short or long term?
- Will I actually use this?
- Will I remember this purchase a year or two from now?
- If I am buying this for someone, will they actually use it?
Please remember that if you don’t get that discounted TV, laptop or Air Pods, it isn’t the end of the world. It can get really easy to get caught up in the splurging fun of the day (believe me, I have been there!), but you have to keep a level head. Stick to your written list of essentials that you need. You don’t need to get it all on the day and you definitely don’t need to blow your bank balance.
If this is your first Black Friday Rodeo, you probably might find yourself getting carried away with the hype of the day. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your essentials shopping list, think about leaving the store as soon as you have everything on your list. As soon as you feel like you want to deviate, leave the store or close the Chrome tab. This goes back to the previous point, which is to relax and give yourself a moment to breath in the midst of the Black Friday hype.
One of the strategies I use is for shopping on Black Friday is, if, for example, I find an item of clothing that I like, I ask myself if I can create at least 5 different looks with this particularly clothing item. Usually, I can only create 3, and I’ll leave it (because it probably won’t matter me buying it within a year).
TIP: In essence, is this item truly of use to me? Can I really get the most out of it or is it more seasonal? If it has no use or value to you, leave it.
It’s also helpful to simply put back, or remove from your cart, one item that you know you don’t need. Before you buy your whole cart, take a look at the items that you’ve got, and then think about putting one item back or removing it from your cart. Remember, you want to pace yourself and really get the things you need; chances are that you might realise that there is an item that you can leave behind.
Black Friday is just one day. You shouldn’t feel any pressure to blow your budget or shop and splurge unnecessarily. As much hype as this day gets every year, remember that it really isn’t the end of the world if you miss out on it (because the sale after Christmas will be even better).
Sure, Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) is usually a good time to get all the gifts in time for Christmas, but you’ll still have about 3 weeks to get your festive items and have the budget to get the things you can afford.
I hope this post helps you be a budget boss for Black Friday. At the end of the day, you have control over your money and over how you choose to spend it. Retailers can dangle all the Black Friday carrots in front of you but you certainly don’t have to give in.