What is Black Friday?
Though originally a staple day of sales in countries like the US, the interest of Black Friday has been building in popularity in the UK over the past few years. Black Friday is traditionally held on the Friday after Thanksgiving, usually encouraging shoppers to gear up for Christmas with this single day of hefty discounts.
However, as more brands have participated in the sales and therefore the competition has been ramped up, many retailers bring forward their sale dates and even prolong their Black Friday offerings over the course of two (or more) weeks in November.
This year, money.co.uk reported that 46.6% of their survey respondents plan to spend £200 or more in the 2022 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – even during the cost-of-living crisis. While it may be attractive to get good deals on otherwise too-expensive products, Black Friday can actually have a terrible influence on spending habits, credit scores and heightens the risk of online shopping scammers. Not only this, but the excitement of Black Friday can easily land you in debt trouble too.
In this blog, we will guide you through some savings tips for Black Friday, as well as ways you can ensure online shopping safety. Read on to find out more.
Savings Tips for Black Friday 2022
It’s important to have an internal conversation about how you are going to approach the Black Friday sales this year. If you start spending sporadically and impulsively without any idea of what you can afford, there is a chance you will overspend and create a multitude of issues for yourself. Before purchasing, consider the following things:
Is this something I actually need?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all seen something we’ve never considered buying before the Black Friday sale, and somehow got roped into purchasing a product we didn’t need. Getting caught up in the sale frenzy is a well-known feeling and something to be aware of ahead of this years’ discount hysteria.
An effective way of checking if it’s really something you need to buy, is considering ‘would I pay for this full-price?’ or ‘when would I use this?’. If this item is something you can only envision yourself using a number of times, or even once, the answer is probably no. Save yourself the hassle of dealing with the post-Black Friday guilt and remove that random item from your basket.
Create a spending budget
One of the best ways to make sure you’re not overspending on Black Friday is through creating a budget to stick to. Allocating a set amount of money for things you want to purchase helps you keep your expenses in check, and ensures you’re spending your money wisely. It’s vital to be aware of how much money you can afford to spend on Black Friday amongst other essential expenses, like bills, rent, food, pension and more.
If you’re buying Christmas presents for your family or friends, for example, set a spend limit for each family member and write their names down in your budget plan. If you find the product you want and it’s over your allocated budget allowance, shop around on different trusted websites to stay on track with your budgeting. For more advice on creating a budget, check out our guide here.
Shop around for the best price
As we’ve just mentioned, shopping around for the best deal is an easy way to save a little more money. For items like electronics, there’s a high chance that your desired purchase will be available on other trusted websites. Depending on each retailer’s Black Friday discounts, another retailer could be doing better deals and therefore help you stay within your budget, or even keep you happily under budget.
By spending a bit more time considering your options and weighing up which deal works best for you, you’re also developing better spending habits. Impulse spending is rife among this time of year, so getting into healthy practices will set you up well for the future.
Avoid credit schemes like credit cards and BNPL
While it may seem like a fantastic idea to spread the cost of your Black Friday deals across multiple payments to avoid spending too much, it could actually land you in worrying debt issues. For this years’ Black Friday sales, Money.co.uk predicts that credit cards and Buy Now, Pay Later are the most favoured options, after debit cards at number one.
If you spend frivolously with credit cards and BNPL, the chances are that you will not be able to keep up with the demand of repayment deadlines. There are many risks associated with spending with credit, like incurring added interest due to late repayments and often result in you paying back more than you owed in the first place.
The safest choice is to opt for a debit card or cash option (if applicable) to ensure you do not owe money to a lender and therefore minimise the possibility of debt issues on Black Friday. If you are currently struggling with credit debt, get in touch with us today or use our free debt advice tool.
Shopping Safely Online
Though it’s very important to think about how to save money during the Black Friday sales, it’s equally as important to be vigilant when shopping online. If you’re not aware of the dangers which are linked to online shopping, you are potentially opening yourself up to scams. Read through our tips on how to ensure you’re shopping online safely.
Use tried and tested websites
Black Friday is probably one of the worst times to try out a new website you’ve never heard of or seen before. Stick to retailers you know and trust, and you can guarantee are reliable. Scammers may try and draw you in with ‘too good to be true’ discounts, so try to be realistic and do not let yourself be fooled.
A good way to look into the legitimacy of a website is to search for the padlock icon which appears in the retailer’s search bar. This means that the site is secure and is trustworthy. If in doubt, look for the lock!
Only input essential payment & location information
Scammers have a tendency to change the meaning of ‘sharing is caring’. Safe websites will only ask you for the minimum required information to complete the purchase. Usually, this consists of: card number, expiry date, name, CCV, your address and contact information.
If the website you’re buying something from asks for even more personal information, remove your information and make your purchase elsewhere on a trusted website. Don’t fall for it!
Watch out for scam emails and texts
As technology advances even more each year, scammers are becoming even more convincing with their tactics. Popular forms of scamming come in the form of emails and copycat websites (phishing), texts and phone calls.
These are all things you should be very aware of at all times, but especially around this sale season. It’s always good practice to be cautious with:
- Unbelievable discounts (quite literally)
- Companies who do not have clear contact details
- Spam phone calls who make you stay on the phone
- People asking for you to share your PIN, bank account details or immediate location
- Prizes which require you to send money first
As an additional precaution, do not click on any links, phone numbers or pop-up ads if you believe it to be a scam. Block the number/email and do not engage, as doing so can show scammers that you are active.
Choose Protective Passwords
One of the most important things to ensure you’re shopping safely is using a strong password for each of your online shopping accounts. Though trying to remember different passwords can be a tricky task, it’s worth it in the long run to keep your data safe.
Using a combination of letters, upper and lower case, numbers and special characters will help you come up with a strong password which will be much more difficult for scammers to guess.
If you know you’ll struggle to keep track of all the different passwords, consider using a secure password management software which will store your passwords safely.
Get in touch with us today
Black Friday can be a bit of a whirlwind in many senses. Though there’s the potential to bag yourself some great discounts, you need to be aware of the dangers which come with the Black Friday frenzy.
If you find yourself distressed over debt, then it’s vital you get advice from a debt advisor. Start your debt solution journey with Angel Advance today through our free online debt advice tool and we will help you get back on track.