Black Friday sales, the shopping extravaganza sandwiched between Singles Day, Pre-Black Friday. Cyber Monday and bringing up the rear, Boxing Day sales. It’s a whirlwind of discounts and deals, but are we really benefiting, or are we just caught in the spending spiral?
Sure, a 40% (or more) off sign might lure you in, but pause and ask yourself, do you genuinely need what’s on sale? The truth is, amidst the frenzy, you might be snagging a bargain on something you’ll regret later when buyers’ remorse sets in.
Here’s your Black Friday survival kit.
Sure, make use of the sales for your Christmas shopping, but tread cautiously. Fantastic bargains coexist with the not-so-fantastic ones.
If Black Friday is your holiday shopping spree, prepare in advance. Make a list of the who, what and how much you want to spend. Stay organised to help resist the allure of impulsive spending.
Avoid opening tempting ‘special’ emails or browsing online flyers when you’re winding down. Relaxation can lead you to overspend, and stress isn’t the best adviser either. Also, skip the online shopping after a bit of Christmas cheer; alcohol and shopping rarely make a winning combo.
Delete saved credit cards from your favourite sites. It adds a crucial moment of reflection before you hit ‘add to cart’. Ten seconds may be all your rational brain needs to kick in.
If you venture into physical stores, take your time, as you walk through the door think of three things you are grateful for, this will put you in a good mindset to spend more wisely.
Whatever mode of shopping you are using, before you buy, ask yourself these questions:
- What else could I do with this money if I didn’t buy this now?
- Will I still love this purchase net week? Next month?
- Is this truly the best decision right now?
- Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale?
Your answers will guide you to the right call – to buy or not to buy.
Be strategic as the sale day approaches. Yes, the marketing hype will be intense, and tempting bargains will abound, but resist the allure if your cash can’t handle the splash!
Consider the small local retailers too. While the big chain stores flaunt hefty discounts, your local shop owner might be battling tight margins. Quality often outweighs quantity; a lesson learned from a homeware store owner politely educating a discount-demanding customer.
We all have a limited pool of disposable income, and this week, everyone is vying for their share. Stay strategic, be wise and don’t let the hype overshadow the fact that the festive season is a marathon, not a spring. Buying ‘stuff’ now, may mean you miss out on the experiences later as we head into summer.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the psychology of Black Friday madness. The urgency, the limited-time offers, the fear of missing out (FOMO) – these are powerful triggers that retailers exploit to open our wallets wide. It’s a psychological game where scarcity breeds desire. The clock is ticking, and so is our heartbeat as we contemplate whether to click ‘buy’.
Marketers are well-versed in the art of creating and emotional connection with consumers. Black Friday isn’t just about discounts; it’s about the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of scoring a deal. It’s an emotional rollercoaster where the anticipation of saving money often overrides the rational consideration of whether we need the item.
Beyond us, the individual, there’s a social aspect to Black Friday. The communal frenzy, the shared excitement, and the collective pursuit of bargains create a sense of belonging. We love sharing our bargains with our friends. It’s not just about what you buy; it’s about being part of the consumer spectacle.
As we navigate the labyrinth of Black Friday, let’s not forget the environmental impact either. The rush for deals contributes to over consumption, leading to more waste, a hidden cost to the planet.
In reality, Black Friday is more than just a shopping day; it’s a psychological experience. Understanding the tricks at play, both individually and societally, empowers us to make mindful choices. So, as the sale sign beckons, take a moment to reflect. Is it a real bargain or just a fleeting thrill?
Remember, the best deal is the one that aligns with your needs, and your values.
*Lynda Moore is a Money Mentalist coach and New Zealand’s only certified New Money Story® mentor. Lynda helps you understand why you do the things you do with your money, when we all know we should spend less than we earn. You can contact her here.