Black Friday: 8 ways to avoid a shopping hangover

Can’t wait to pick up a bargain on Black Friday? Be prepared for shopping in person and online, and spend money without regretting it.

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A sticky note on a cork board with Black Friday Sale reminder

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Black Friday benefits both retailers and consumers. Retailers maximise their sales and consumers get some great deals. However, getting carried away and overspending on Black Friday can lead to regret the next day.

Here are eight tips to help you avoid a shopping hangover.


Shopping online

Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending sprees are hard to avoid when all the tempting offers are instantly available on your device. Here are some tips to help you manage your online spending.

1. Do some Black Friday research

How do you know that something is a good deal if you don’t know what it normally costs? Corporations have a number of tactics to make deals appear better than they really are. Beware of parting with your savings just because a deal looks attractive.

Research prices now for things you might buy to help you see where the genuine bargains are.

2. Make a Black Friday list

A shopping list won’t completely protect you against impulse buying, but it can help to focus your attention on what you really want. Next to each item on the list, it’s a good idea to write down reasons why you want or need to buy it, then you can prioritise and cross off anything that might not be essential. 

3. Set a Black Friday budget

Without a budget, it’s so easy to overspend on a credit card or drain your bank account. Work out how much disposable cash you have to spend on Black Friday and keep on track.

Set a budget per person for gifts, then you won’t be tempted to treat someone to something that’s out of your price range – even if it looks like a bargain. 

4. Think of the environment!

We are all being urged to take care of the planet. One way to do this is to put the brakes on over-consumption. Environmental guilt can be beneficial to your wallet, as you reject overpackaged items and unnecessary upgrades.

Reject pressure from family, advertisers and peers to clog up your corner of the planet with more and more stuff. 


Shopping in person on Black Friday

Non-essential shops were closed on Black Friday 2020, and many of us are ready for a spending spree this year. Here are some strategies to curb overspending in person.

5. Take a Black Friday buddy

Addicted to shopping? Black Friday is a great opportunity for retailers to take your money. Bring a sensible friend or family member who will talk through each purchase with you, or even keep hold of your credit card.

Shopping with a friend will slow down your spending because some of the time you will be helping them find bargains as well.

6. Have a Black Friday break

Treat yourself to lunch or a coffee and cake in a café. This will give you a chance to recharge your batteries, but also take stock and check your list and budget.

If there’s no money left, it’s time to go home.

7. Use public transport

Many popular Black Friday deals come in large and unwieldy packaging, or they’re heavy.  Leaving the car at home means you will have to carry everything and manage it all on the bus or train. That puts a physical limit on the number of large items you can buy!

8. Keep Black Friday receipts

Check the returns policy before paying for anything!

If you wake up the next day surrounded by things you don’t want, you can take them back straight away and exchange or get a refund. 

Final word

With all the hype, there’s a real danger your savings will get sucked into the Black Friday black hole.

While it can seem like you’re missing out on something if you don’t shop in a sale, remember that there could be even better deals on offer in January.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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