min read
· Posted on
February 21, 2024

Make the most of Black Friday sales this holiday season

With Black Friday around the corner, it's time to get sale-savvy.

What's the key learning?

  • Before you hit the shops, make a wish-list of the items you need.
  • Set yourself a budget for Black Friday shopping and stick to it.
  • Tie up with a friend or family member to hold yourself accountable to your wish list and budget.
  • When you're deliberating a purchase, walk away from it for a bit before you decide to buy.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are just days away, which means the holiday season has officially kicked off.

Running into Black Friday sales like...

Trying to avoid impulse shopping on Black Friday is like trying to resist Messina on a hot summer eveng. It’s designed to lure you in.

And while it’s the best time of the year to shop, it’s also the easiest time to overspend. 

That’s because companies play on our psychology. Sales like Black Friday are wildly successful because the idea of missing out on a deal can feel like a loss and create FOMO.

But jokes on them because you’re not falling for those traps. You know exactly how to dodge them. Matrix style.

Firstly, for the unacquainted, who are wondering what is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. 

Over time, it’s become a global event and a chance for brands internationally to offer highly promoted sales.

Traditionally, Black Friday sales relate to in-store shopping, and Cyber Monday sales are exclusively online, but over time the distinction between the two has blurred.

This year Black Friday is on the 24th of November and Cyber Monday is on the 27th of November. 

But you’ve probably noticed that Black Friday sales have started a fair bit earlier this year.

Black Friday.. You were meant to start on… Friday?

Okay so how do I make the most of these sales?

  1. Make a wish-list before you start:

When you’re surrounded by flashy marketing and bright colours showing slashed prices, it’s very easy to get tempted by things we “think” we need… just because they’re on sale.

Before you know it, there’s a new table lamp, dinner set and three pairs of shoes in your cart “because they were on sale” and $400 out of your bank account that didn’t need to be spent.

Me to inner me when I buy something I didn’t need.

Have a list of what you need to buy and prioritise that list according to what fits in your budget.

And if you’re planning to do your Christmas present shopping during these sales, plan out in advance what you want to get.

Before you head for your shopping spree, note down the current, pre-sale retail price for the items you plan to buy. 

When you’re shopping at the Black Friday sales you can make sure the deal is worth your while.

  1. Have a budget and stick to it

We know this goes without saying, but the holiday season can get chaotic, and a budget can help navigate that chaos.

Experts recommend allocating 1.5% of your pre-tax income to your total holiday spending. 

For example, if you earn a salary of $85,000 pre-tax, you could allocate $1,275 to your holiday spending.

Once you’ve worked out how much you’re allocating in total, segment your budget into different buckets. Think: presents, decorations, food and other end-of-year celebrations.

  1. Take an accountability friend with you

Shopping is always more fun with others. Take a friend or a family member with you who can help you stick to your wish list and budget. And who you can help stick to their plan.

It’s often easier to be more rational about someone else's spending than your own.

  1. Shop safely

Take extra precautions with online stores and make sure you’re buying from somewhere genuine.

In fact, there have been over 2,760 reports of fake online stores this year which has led to over half a million dollars being lost.

There are a few red flags you can look out for:

  • Typos on the website
  • Strange URL
  • Too good to be true discounts
  • Unusual payment method.
  1. Take a breath before you buy

Now, there might be some items in your shopping list that you are 110% sure you need and don’t need to think twice about them.

But for items you’re deliberating, give yourself an opportunity to pause before you commit to the decision. 

If you’re shopping in person you might go into another store for 10-15 minutes before you decide.

If you’re shopping online, you add the item to cart or save it and sleep on the decision overnight before you decide to buy. 

You might find that the next morning you’re not as enthusiastic about the inflatable Pikachu chair as you were the night before.

By taking a beat before you make the purchase decision, you’re allowing yourself to beat the impulse urge, and ensure you’re making the decision from a more rational headspace.

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