The end of the year has arrived! There are numerous adverts encouraging you to part with your hard earned Rands. What was traditionally a day of sales has now turned into a month of sales. You cannot go into a store or onto a website without being shown the latest specials.
While it is a good time to shop around for a bargain or two, it is also very easy to get caught up in the hype and fall into the trap of overspending. The festive season spirit is starting to take hold and you want to go out more often, get take-out or treats more often.
So, make your mantra for this month, No. No, I am not going to get caught up in the hype. No, I am not going to over-spend! No, I am rather going to stay at home and have a potluck evening or braai with friends.
However, it can be a good time to get a good bargain and buy something that you have had your eye on for a while. Here are a few tips to help you navigate Black Friday:
- Define your budget: Have a look at how much you can comfortably afford this season without having to buy on credit. Be cautious – it will stand you in good stead later on. Once you have determined your budget, stick to it, do not get swept in the hype of the silly season. Those who bank with FNB can easily keep track their budgets via the FNB Smart Budget on the FNB App. Download the FNB App and set limits on nav» Money Smart Budget.
- Make a list: The question you ask here is what do you really need? This may be a good time to stock up on stationery for the kids or some non-perishable groceries. You can start looking at buying festive season gifts or birthday presents for the year ahead. But remember to stay within your budget.
- Do your research: Do your research on how much that item normally costs. Then compare that to the discounts being advertised – to ensure that the price is really discounted. This is a vital step in the process to make sure that the bargain that you are getting is actually a bargain. Look at the various retailer websites, brochures that are published at this time and then compare the various retailers
- Use loyalty or rewards programmes: Use your loyalty and rewards programmes to your advantage, look at where you will get the maximum benefit using loyalty programmes, like Checkers, Clicks, Engen and eBucks.
- Investigate warranties and return policies: When buying technology or appliances, ensure you understand the full terms and conditions of the warranties. Also, if you are buying presents or clothing, check the return policy and if there are any time limitations.
- Shop safely: Ensure that you are shopping safely and securely this time of year. Either shop online using your Virtual Card on trusted websites or swipe your card instead of using cash. The added benefit is that you can earn eBucks. Remember not to give anyone your pin or your online banking details.
Black Friday is a great opportunity to pick up a bargain and buy a few things that you have been looking at for a while. However, follow the tips above to make sure that you do not regret the money you have s