MONEY

Don't Do Black Friday Without A Budget

"Black Friday can easily turn into a black hole that you'll still be pulling yourself from come January and February."

21/11/2017 12:01 SAST | Updated 21/11/2017 14:29 SAST

Do not partake of Black Friday if you do not have a budget.

That's the view of John Manyike, the head of financial education at Old Mutual.

The financial services group conducted an unofficial poll earlier this month -- assessing the attitudes of at least 8,000 South Africans about Black Friday. Of the 48 percent who said they are definitely going to partake, only 18 percent said they had budgeted for it.

"That's where the problem lies. If you don't budget, you end up buying things you don't really need," Manyike told HuffPost SA.

Manyike believes the "whatever I'm going to find attitude" is dangerous, as it may likely put you into further debt.

"Discipline, discipline, discipline," that's the key, he pointed out.

But this does not mean Black Friday is bad.

"If you have saved for it, you can get great discounts on big household items," added Gerald Mwandiambira, the acting CEO for the South African Savings Institute. "Saving being the key word," emphasised Mwandiambira.

Here are 5 top tips for keeping your Black Friday spend in check:

1. Identify wants and needs. "It may sound so basic, but determine beforehand what it is you really need and what you want," Manyike said. This will help prevent unnecessary and compulsive buying.

2. Don't increase your credit-card limit. "You're using money you don't have," Manyike warned, which is a common pitfall for would-be buyers. "Black Friday can easily turn into a black hole that you'll still be pulling yourself from come January and February," said Mwandiambira.

3. Have a shopping list. With online shopping and social media, you can easily compare prices and know exactly where you should shop. Manyike also cautioned against the fear of missing out (FOMO): "You're in one aisle, and you hear an announcement of another discount you hadn't budgeted for, and you rush to that aisle -- that's how people find themselves in trouble."

4. Check carefully when you buy, as some retailers have a policy of not returning sales goods, Mwandiambira said. But if an item is faulty, then, according to the National Consumer Protection Act, it can be returned.

5. Beware of blue Monday -- when buyers who went overboard will end up feeling remorseful, concludes Manyike.