Black Friday is already in full swing and with thousands of amazing and tempting deals in the shops and online, money management is crucial if you want to avoid waking up with a financial hangover tomorrow.
The hardest part of shopping on Black Friday is trying to reign in your spending. It's easy to get carried away and spend more than you intended to.
If you haven't already created a wish-list, it's not too late to create one and it will at least focus your mind on what you need, rather than just buying impulsively because the discounts are impossible to resist.
By making a list, you'll know the items you want to research and narrow down the items you really want. You can also budget for how much you want to spend on each item. If you're planning to do your Christmas shopping, your list should answer both who you'll buy for and what you plan to spend per person.
While making a budget is great, it's only useful if you stick to it. Black Friday isn't a day for browsing the shops and buying what strikes your fancy. It's a strategic mission that needs to be carried out with military precision. If you come across something irresistible that's not on your list, only buy it if you're willing to cut something else off your list.
If you do wake up tomorrow and realise your spending did get a little out of control, don't panic You don't have to keep those bright pink hair straighteners or the fluffy slippers. If you buy items in a shop or online and change your mind, and want to return them, then you have rights.
But you are not automatically entitled to a refund just because you have changed your mind about a purchase. It is down to the goodwill and customer services policy of the retailer. However, this is by no means a given which is why it is important to check a retailer's refund policy before you buy.
Saying that, many larger stores will be willing to offer a refund, credit note or exchange within a certain time frame, providing you have the receipt.
If you purchase something and it's faulty, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any item you purchase from a retailer should be as described, of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.
This means that if a product turns out to be damaged or faulty at the time of sale, or if a fault emerges over time, you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement from a retailer. You have 30 days to reject your goods if they are of an unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described and receive a full refund.
It's worth bearing in mind that when you return an item, the retailer is likely to ask for proof of purchase.
When you buy goods online, over the phone or by post, you have 14 days to change your mind, cancel and get a complete refund.
You will need to notify the retailer in writing within the 14 days, and you will get a further 14 days to return the goods. The retailer is then obliged to issue a full refund within 14 days of when you return the goods.
Be aware, you may have to pay to return the item, but if the retailer doesn't tell you whether or not you'll have to pay return postage, it's likely to be free.
Finally, for added protection on Black Friday purchases, online or in-store, consider using your credit card. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, if you pay for an item using your credit card, then you have rights to claim a refund from your credit card provider as well as the seller if something goes wrong. This extra protection applies when you buy an item that costs between £100 and £30,000 and means if the seller goes bust or fails to deliver your item you can approach your credit card company to get your money back.
For more information check out our refund rights guide