Is there a sound approach towards the Black Friday mania?

I am writing this article on the eve of the Black Friday frenzy. This is an annual retail event that originated in the United States and has gained widespread popularity in South Africa in recent years. With extravagant discounts and special offers, shoppers eagerly wait for this day to grab the best deals. However, while it may seem like an opportunity to save money, Black Friday can also present potential financial challenges if not approached with caution. In this article, we will discuss Black Friday specials and financial issues in South Africa, offering practical tips for planning and making the most of this shopping extravaganza.


The Rise of Black Friday in South Africa:

Black Friday was introduced in South Africa in 2014, and ever since, it has gained immense popularity among consumers. Retailers across the country offer significant discounts, enticing customers with unbeatable deals. Black Friday has become synonymous with long queues, overcrowded stores, and websites crashing due to overwhelming demand.


Understanding the Financial Challenges:

While the allure of discounted items can be tempting, it’s crucial to recognize the financial challenges associated with Black Friday. Impulse buying and overspending are two common pitfalls that can quickly lead to financial distress. South Africans often tend to fall into the trap of buying things they don’t genuinely need or abandoning their budget for the sake of a discounted purchase.


Creating a Black Friday Budget:

Planning is crucial when it comes to making the most of Black Friday specials while avoiding financial stress. Start by setting a budget for your shopping spree. Determine the maximum amount you can spend without impacting your monthly expenses or savings goals. Once you establish the budget, make a list of the essential items you need and prioritize them. By sticking to this list, you’ll avoid the unnecessary urge to overspend.


Research and Price Comparison:

Ahead of Black Friday, research and compare prices from different retailers. Visit their websites, subscribe to newsletters, and follow them on social media to stay updated with their promotions. By doing so, you can identify which products are genuinely discounted and distinguish between true deals and marketing tactics. As you compare prices, remember to account for shipping costs and any additional charges that may be associated with the purchase.


Is it better to Shop Online or In-Store?

Choosing between online and in-store shopping largely depends on your preferences and circumstances. In-store shopping allows you to physically inspect products and make more informed decisions, but it can also be overwhelming due to crowd sizes. On the other hand, online shopping provides convenience and eliminates the chaos, but there may be delays in delivery and potential cybersecurity threats. Consider these factors when deciding the best approach for your Black Friday shopping.


Be Cautious of Credit:

Many retailers offer installment payment plans and credit options during Black Friday. While these can seem tempting, it’s crucial to exercise caution and evaluate your financial situation before committing to any credit agreements. Taking on excessive debt can easily offset any savings you may have made during the sale. If you choose to use credit, ensure that you can comfortably manage the repayments without compromising your financial stability.


Final thoughts:

Soon after Black Friday specials, another festive season awaits most consumers in December. Shop down or delay big ticket items (cars and houses) and squash those mid-sized debt accounts. It’s going to get tougher out there considering the still stubborn inflation profile and the sluggish economic growth.



Created by: Sydney Sekese, CFP® professional.

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