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Gear up for Black Friday like a pro

Nov 18 2017 13:13
Jan Cronje
Many stores got a head start on the traditional Bl

Many stores got a head start on the traditional Black Friday sales by opening on Thanksgiving. (AFP)

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Cape Town - On Friday November 24 South African bargain hunters will start queuing at the break of dawn; game faces on and shopping trolleys at the ready for the annual Black Friday sale.

Others will be hunched over their computers waiting for online sales to begin, having signed up for every alert and downloaded the apps of participating websites. 

Acording to John Manyike, head of financial education at Old Mutual, this year it will be easier to spend - or misspend - your money than ever before.   

“Every year this tradition evolves, more shops gets involved and the convenience of shopping just keeps getting easier with technology,” Manyike told Fin24. 

“Consumers no longer have to stand in queues to get deals on sale, they can access them online, while at work or home. Some retailers have even prompted consumers to download their store apps so that they are the first to be notified of deals.”

READ: #BlackFriday: Takealot ready for ‘exam time’

Indeed, South African websites and retailers have been preparing for the discount sale of all discount sales for months. 

For Manyike, consumers should take a leaf out of their book.

“Retailers plan way ahead in time for Black Friday deals. Why shouldn’t consumers?”.

Plan to purchase

Like athletes preparing for a distance race, consumers should ideally have started planning for Black Friday 2017 at the end of last year's sale.  

“For example, someone who missed last year’s Black Friday and has been saving to partake in this years’ massive deals on sale, will be in an advantageous position to shop without feeling guilty or getting themselves in debt,” he says.  

Manyike says for a successful Black Friday shopping experience shoppers must budget, plan ahead, become “emotionally attached” to their money and only buy what they need.  

“Know how much you earn, how much goes out of your account, your monthly expenses and your balance. Check your bank statement every month to check accuracy and if there are any unauthorised transactions,” he says. “When you get into the habit of checking up on your finances regularly, you become more involved and aware of your spending.”

Need versus want

On Black Friday the temptation to buy more than you budgeted for will be strong, says Manyike. So how do you keep yourself from entering a store looking to stock up on bulk toilet paper, only to end up leaving with an industrial cold press juicer?

Manyike said this is where planning is paramount.

His Black Friday mantra? Only buy what you need and what you have budgeted for. It’s a case of “need versus want”, he says. 

This will help you stay out of debt. 

“Some consumers put purchases on their credit cards and end up exceeding their limit. Some even go to the extent of increasing their credit limit just to cater for their hunger to shop." 

“Later on, it becomes difficult to pay off this debt because it was not planned for ahead of time.”


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black friday  |  personal finance
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