It’s that time of year again - Black Friday is here.
On November 24, the high street and online retailers will be awash with deals, as they try to entice the British public to spend their money.
But, Black Friday - and then its online counterpart, Cyber Monday - can cause a lot of mixed feelings, especially as we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
It’s understandable that spending rather than saving might feel difficult this year, but there are ways to sensibly tackle this weekend by spending in a way that suits you and ultimately does save some money. This means you can reduce the impact on your savings account and stay in the black.
Here are some tips to get you started…
Christmas will always come with some costs, but don’t feel pressure to overspend as you are always in control of your money. Think about the realistic costs you’ll face during the festive season and plan how much money you’ll need to buy presents, food and other festive purchases.
It’s also a good idea to ask your relatives and friends if they would like anything specific for Christmas, as then you know you are buying something they really want. A Christmas list also helps with the next tip…
If you already know what presents you need or would like to buy, then it’s worth doing some research before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This will give an idea of how much you’ll need to spend and indicates whether the deal is worth it.
Try creating a spreadsheet of what you need to buy and then track the price before Black Friday. You can refer to this sheet when the deals then become available.
It’s easy to get carried away during this weekend, as retailers will bombard you with deals. It’s also tricky to know whether an item will become cheaper by Cyber Monday, but it’s best to create a budget and then if the item drops to a price you can afford, act quickly so you don’t miss out.
Keep your shopping list to hand and tick off the items when you’ve purchased them, this will help you to avoid impulse purchase. Remember to focus on your priorities and try to avoid any distractions when you are shopping.
Speaking of distractions, it can be tempting to overspend if you are exposed to lots of different deals. If you have a lot of shopping apps on your phone that you don’t use, then it’s a good idea to delete the apps for the weekend. This way, notifications will be reduced and it will help you to stick to your plan.
The key to saving money during this spending weekend is to always focus on what you need to buy, rather than spontaneous purchases.
Luckily, there are some tools online that will help you find the best bargains. Retailers can sometimes increase the price of items just before Black Friday, so then it feels more of a deal than it actually is.
To get a better understanding of the offer, try using websites like camelcamelcamel.com. This is a free Amazon price tracker and it shows the historic prices of a product.
If there are certain retailers you would like to use on Black Friday then remember to sign up to their newsletter. This will alert you to the deals when they become available and aid sensible spending, as you will have only signed up to the newsletters you need.
You could also follow retailers on social media as this is another way to discover the best deals.
If you stick to your plan and only buy items you need, then you should save some money during your Christmas spending.
Plus, remember that spending can also earn you some extra money back as some banks offer cashback. Check what retailers are applicable and take advantage of cashback whenever you can - you’ll be surprised at how quickly this can add up.
If you do make some substantial savings during the Black Friday weekend, then remember to add this to a savings account to earn some interest.
As a trained journalist, Lucinda has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles, including The Mirror, WalesOnline and Manchester Evening News. She is now a personal finance editor and specialises in savings, helping people to make confident financial decisions so they can save for what matters most.