The month of sales, otherwise known as Black Friday, has arrived and consumers are being enticed to spend their hard-earned cash. But this is a year that we need to be more cautious about our spending, especially in light of inflation and the high economic climate.
However, there is still an opportunity to find good bargains stock up for the festive season or to purchase those big school items at lower prices ahead of the New Year.
Ester Ochse, Product Head at FNB Integrated Advice says, “It is important for consumers to be intentional with their budget this Black Friday and base their purchases on what they can really afford. Having a structured ‘Black Friday’ purchase plan will help in finding those key items that they really need and will save them a bit of money.
This will put them in a better position that will not cause financial stress down the line.” Ochse shares these tips to help consumers navigate the Black Friday deals:
Create a list
Build a list of items that you would like to purchase during this time, then categorize them into three categories: Needs, wants and nice to have. The needs can be items such as stationary for next year or groceries. Wants will be items that you will use but they form part of discretionary spending normally, examples are clothing and cosmetic items. Then the last category will be nice to have, these will be things like a new Smart TV or Air Fryer.
Set a budget
Look at how much you can comfortably afford without needing to take credit to purchase the items. This will stop you from overspending and feeling a financial burden. Now you need to allocate the set budget for the items that you listed above. Starting with the needs, then the wants, and then the nice to-haves. If the budget runs out at the needs, then that is where the focus remains, don’t overstretch yourself to try and get to the wants and not to the nice to haves. Setting up a budget and keeping an eye on your budget is easy with Smart Budget on the FNB app under nav» Money.
Do your research
This needs to start earlier in the year so that you are fully aware of how much an item normally costs, and also compare between different retailers. This will ensure that what you are spending on is at a discounted price. Look at common retail websites and sales advertisements before starting shopping. This will assist in allocating your budget as well.
Use your loyalty programmes
This is a good time to use your loyalty points, such as eBucks. You can use this to pay for some of your shopping items as well as look for travel deals if that is on your list.
Be vigilant when shopping. Rather use your virtual card when shopping online as this will give you extra protection. The other added benefit of using your virtual card is that you can earn eBucks which will help categorize your spending in the Smart Budget app. If you are shopping online, make sure that the website is trusted and that it’s in fact the retailer’s website. Also, remember not to give your card or pin to anyone, nor will your bank phone you and ask for those details.