Last updated on Mar 15th, 2021 at 08:50 am

Black Friday – the phrase that makes the pulse quicken and the hands clammy

Everyone’s favourite shopping day is almost here, and whether you’re a hardcore midnight
deal grabber, or a casual throughout-the-day browser, you want to get the most value for your hard-earned cash.

We’re here to make sure you’re not ripped off – or end up spending the rest of November sobbing tears of buyer’s remorse into your two-minute noodles

In the days leading up to 29 November, you’ll be bombarded with deals, sales, specials and limited-time-only offers that will try to dazzle you into buying more bikinis than you could wear in one summer. Come Tuesday, you might be regretting the bulk purchase of so many unnecessary items.

But you know what, you’re not alone.

We’ve all fallen prey to the wiles of Black Friday, and its sneaky sister, Cyber Monday.

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It’s engineered to trap you, and make you think you’re saving huge amounts even as you hand over your last cent. You’ll find yourself getting excited over things you would have never looked at twice, just because it’s been wrapped in a shiny “must-have” wrapper. Nothing makes a weekend getaway in a run-down cottage on the stinky end of a farm seem more attractive than a 50% off label!

Of course you know you shouldn’t. You know saving for later is probably a much better idea than clicking “Add to Cart”. You know that you should be investing, or saving for a house, or even that road trip through America you’ve been dreaming of.

You work hard for your money, and you deserve a little Treat Yo’ Self action

But you still do it. We all do. It’s so fun, so instantly rewarding that you can’t possibly be expected to resist. You work hard for your money, and you deserve a little Treat Yo’ Self action.

So we’re not here to tell you not to spend your dough. We’re here to help you spend your cash the right way, so it goes further. And to make sure you won’t be eating off-brand Salticrax with pilchards for the rest of the month!

Here’s how to shop wisely and avoid buyer’s remorse this Black Friday

1. Figure out what you want

Browse your favourite stores, and create a wish list. This is even easier to do if you’re shopping online. Decide which items you can’t live without, and bank the rest for another time.

2. Set a budget

If you’ve been saving for this since last November, then by all means spend your money without guilt. You’ve planned, and you should definitely enjoy it. But even if you haven’t planned, setting a budget can ensure that you don’t blow your grocery money on things you really don’t need. If you’re looking for travel and experience deals, you’ll likely still have to save a bit more than if you were looking for a few new pairs of shoes.

3. Don’t get sucked into the mob mentality

No blinking lights or sirens or “BUY NOW OR MISS OUT!” slogans can get to you, for you are zen. You are chill. You are calm, and strong, and you know what you want.

If you don’t end up with something you coveted, take a breath and look for second best. If that doesn’t work, go for a walk. Ten minutes away from the screaming hordes will do wonders for your peace of mind.

4. Don’t believe the hype

There’s a sneaky urban legend going around that some stores push their prices up during the year so that their “price slashes” seem more dramatic on Black Friday. Whether that’s true or not, regard the savings with a cynical eye. Are the sales prices really that low? Is 20% off really a good enough reason to punch that blonde lady for taking the last one? If not, don’t bother.

5.  Give it back if you’ve changed your mind

The beauty of most online stores, and many retail stores, is that they make returning items pretty easy. It’s one of the most effective ways of battling buyer’s remorse. Worried you overspent and not too pleased with what you’ve bought? Return it, get your money back, do a little happy dance.

6. Keep an eye out for the really good stuff

Besides getting some great products, there are some great opportunities to get some savings on some of the less fun grudge purchases. Some financial services providers run reward and cashback promotions for signing up on Black Friday weekend (we’re looking at you Indiefin!) It’s your chance to use the hype to your advantage, and pay for something that will earn you money
in the long run.

Stick to just one of these tips, and you’ll already be setting yourself up for a win. Follow them all, and we’ll be calling you next year to help us write tips for the future young grasshoppers. You’ve got this. Go forth, and make it drizzle!