Watch: 5 ways to get the best bargains on Black Friday
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will see one of the most competitive Black Friday periods, as well as one of the longest in UK history.
The UK's credit card debt, which already stands at about at £1,182 ($1,564) per person, could be set to grow.
With this in mind, low-cost financial advice platform, OpenMoney, shared some top tips for saving money.
1. Don’t spend what you don’t have
It's best not to spend money you don't have – especially if you're already struggling financially.
Putting purchases on a credit card may seem easy enough, but remember that you need to pay it off further down the line.
In fact, a quarter of Brits have fallen into debt after being hit with an unexpected bill or large repayment, according to OpenMoney's Advice Gap report
“Enjoy what you can afford to, but remember that you don’t want to be spending the Christmas break worrying about being unable to pay your bills,” said Hayley Millhouse, OpenMoney managing director.
“Spending can add up really quickly without you even noticing it. Knowing where to draw the line is key.”
2. Do your homework
Do your research beforehand to make sure you're getting the best deals and avoid panic-buying on the day.
Millhouse said: “Panic-buying can lead to overspending when there was most likely a saving to be made elsewhere.”
If you want to buy something specific, start looking for it now, and make decisions with a budget in mind – and stick to it.
“Some retailers will make it look like they have huge discounts on products but they might still be cheaper elsewhere,” said Millhouse.
Additionally, buying through cashback sites can be a great way to earn back some money.
3. Make a list – and a budget
Decide what you need and what you’re willing to spend, then make a list of everything you plan to buy, and stick to it.
“The more you plan in advance, the more likely you are to stick to it and not make purchases you’ll regret,” said Millhouse.
“It’s normal to use this time of year as an excuse for spending, but it’s worth considering whether you really can afford to splurge.”
4. Avoid impulse purchasing
Limited-time discounts increase the urgency to buy – so before you hit “checkout”, stop and think.
What might the consequences of the purchase might be? Do you really need it? Can you afford it? Will you still want it next month?
“Lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures will mean that this year’s Black Friday will look very different to what we’re used to,” said Millhouse.
“Many people living in parts of the UK with tight restrictions are of course unlikely to be able to access bargains in person on the high street, but as a result, we should expect to see a significant boom in online interest and sales.
“Despite the difficulties of recent months, Black Friday will largely still be viewed by many as an opportunity to treat themselves and take their mind off things – but consumers need to be savvy to avoid getting themselves into money troubles ahead of the festive period.”
She added: “I would still only buying things you actually need, don’t just get caught up in the shopping frenzy because of FOMO.”
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