Six tips on how to shop smart on Black Friday

Here are a few tips to help you spend your money smartly

19 November 2018 - 18:52
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Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

Black Friday, the best shopping weekend of the year, is almost here. You’ve been saving all year, and it’s about to go down. Indie has some advice on how you can make your moola go even further than you expected.

From November 23 to 26 you’re going to see so many deals, sales, specials and limited-time-only offers that it’ll be easy to get overwhelmed. You might even give in and end up with three stacks of T-shirts that are all a little bit too tight, leaving you with buyer’s remorse.

Know this: you won’t be the only one. Black Friday has been engineered to make you think you’re saving money when you aren’t.

You’ll see items you otherwise wouldn’t care about wrapped up in “must-have” packaging, forcing you to have a second look. You’ll be made to feel panicked by time pressures and hype, which could lead to bad purchasing decisions. And unfortunately, almost everything you’ll buy is a bad asset (that’s something that decreases in value over time or costs money to upkeep).

Of course you know you should be saving instead of queuing with a hundred other people in the hopes of getting a cheap TV. You know that your money might be better off in a savings account, or a retirement annuity that will help you in the future.

And yet … there you’ll be, queuing anyway because you worked hard for your money, and you deserve to spend it on nice things, right?

Indie is not here to tell you what to do with your cash. Instead, here are few tips to help you spend your money smartly – a win for you and your pocket.

Tip 1: Figure out what you want

Browse around your favourite stores, and make a wish list. This is even easier to do if you’re shopping online. Decide which items you can’t live without, and keep the rest for another time.

Tip 2: Set a budget

If you’ve been saving for this since last November, then by all means spend your money without guilt. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set budgets for different shopping goals. Figure out how much you want to spend on groceries vs “fun stuff” such as TVs and shoes.

Tip 3: Don’t get sucked into the mob mentality

Don’t let the blinking lights and “buy now or miss out” messages get to you. If you approach your shopping with a plan, none of this will affect you. If you miss out on a deal you wanted, better luck next time. Or have a Plan B, so you can move on quickly to the next goal.

Tip 4: Don’t believe the hype

There’s a sneaky urban legend going around that some stores push their prices up during the year so that their “price slashes” seem more dramatic on Black Friday. Whether that’s true or not, look at these “savings” with a critical eye. Are the sales prices really that low? Is 10% off really a good enough reason to elbow an old lady out of the way so you can get to it? If not, don’t bother.

Tip 5: Return it if you’ve changed your mind

The beauty of most online stores, and many retailers, is that they make it really easy to return something if you don’t want it anymore. If you’re regretting your purchase or are worried that you’ve overspent, just return it. Get your money back and do a happy dance.

Tip 6: Keep an eye out for the really good stuff

Besides getting some great products, there are some great opportunities to get some savings on some of the less fun purchases. Some financial service providers run reward and cash-back promotions for signing up on Black Friday weekend (we’re looking at you Indiefin!). It’s your chance to use the hype to your advantage, and pay for something that will earn you money in the long run.

If you manage to use even one of these tips, then you’re already way ahead of the other shoppers. If you manage all of them, then we bow down to you. Well done, and enjoy the spoils of your weekend.

If you're on the lookout for a different kind of special, check out Indie for a unique Black Friday weekend deal. Buy an Indie policy (Life Cover, Dread Cover, Funeral Cover, among others) between the November 23 and 26, and they'll not only match up to 100% of your policy into a free, growing investment account for you, they'll also give you a boost of R5,000 just for fun.

That way, even though you’ll be spending on the day, you’ll be making back so much more.

Visit www.getindie.co.za/black-friday

 

This article was paid for by Indiefin.

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