Some call it “pure madness”, some call it “early Christmas”, but however you want to describe BLACK FRIDAY, be sure – if you partake in it – that it doesn’t affect and ruin your financial position for the rest of the year and into 2019!

This year the sale and shopping phenomenon will take place on Friday 23 November. From taking on long queues to patiently waiting your turn online (for say, Cyber Monday) – nothing can beat the satisfaction of entering a ‘massive’ sale and bargain/deal.

Or can it?

According to Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe, you should never blatantly put yourself in a position where you ‘unnerve’ your nerves and disrupt your finances. And, you should always ask yourself the question: “Is this so-called ‘sale’ really a SALE?”

Here are some Q&As to consider before you decide to take part in this upcoming sale:

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Ask yourself: “Why do I want to go shopping on Black Friday?”

Is it because you want to be part of the hype, you want to buy Christmas presents that are usually unaffordable OR there are really great specials and sales whether it be groceries or other items?

If you answer: “I want to be part of the hype”

(Perhaps even uploading a few pics on Facebook or Instagram) then you have to put your ‘practical’ thinking hat on and THINK AGAIN. Would your ‘I’m doing Black Friday’ decision really be good for your pocket?

If you answer: “I need to buy a few usually expensively priced gifts at a reasonable discount on Black Friday”

then it is not a bad idea BUT first things first:

  • Have you budgeted for it?
  • Are you sure that you can afford it?
  • Have you made arrangements to take off from work / do you have enough leave days available, for example?
  • Have you done your homework / research on the pricing of the items you want?
  • Is the store / Are the stores that you need to visit in close range from your house and office OR are you going to spend quite a few rand on fuel, knowing that you may need to make more than one trip?

If you answer: “The specials on certain grocery and gadget items are truly something else”

then you have to take the above tips into account as well. PLUS, do you really need so many products / items? You can only need so many packs of toilet paper (for example), don’t you think? It is good to stock up when there’s a sale, but you should NEVER overstock. Sales can often trick you into buying more because it is a ‘once in a lifetime deal’. But do note – a few extra items may not be saving you money at all.

Black Friday mania is almost on your doorstep, but before you get overly excited, ask yourself the above questions and make sure you don’t put yourself in a difficult and dark financial position.