Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great ways to save money and get your festive season shopping out of the way early. However, as the two biggest days of the retail shopping year approach, there are a couple of helpful things you need to know before diving in, as it’s easy to get caught up in the deal frenzy.
There’s a famous quote that says, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The same philosophy should be applied to your Black Friday preparations.
First off, identify the items you want to spend money on, then do your research. Find out who will be selling the products you want, and what discounts they’re offering on them. Form a wish list then prioritise it, placing items in order of “I need” or “I want”. This will help you shop efficiently on the day. By starting with the essentials you’ll be able to tick off the items you want and avoid missing out on the items you need. Once you’ve figured that out, start drafting your budget. Thankfully there are a handful of tools that have been made to assist you with this.
PriceCheck has a great all-in-one web page dedicated to Black Friday deals. Their page allows you to sort by price, percentage of discount, department and even shop.
Another site similar to PriceCheck is allcatalogue’s Black Friday page. Here they categorise their deals based off what each store has to offer. It’s a great way to find deals both in-store and online.
Both of these sites are extremely helpful in planning for Black Friday, which leads us to our next point.
Now it’s time to put your accounting hat on. Before you start buying, you need to decide in advance how much you’re willing to spend on Black Friday. Sharpen that axe before you chop down the tree, or in this case, identify, budget, then purchase. This will help you avoid impulse purchases.
When forming a budget you can make use of an Excel spreadsheet, or use the notes app on your phone. Whilst researching (using the sites we mentioned above) make note of and track each item you want to buy on the day. Most online stores also have a helpful feature for this – the wishlist. This is one of the best tools at your disposal when identifying items for purchase on Black Friday.
There are several budgeting apps that can help you too. Here are two brilliant ones that have been developed in South Africa:
22seven is a free-to-use budgeting app that allows you to link bank accounts, credit and store cards, investments and loans. Developed by Old Mutual, this app is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to monitoring your finances.
From sign up it takes about 24 hours to start tracking your spending. Once tracking, 22seven can:
SpendTracker is a great money-monitoring app, what’s more, it’s free and extremely user-friendly. SpendTracker is not as sophisticated as 22seven, it doesn’t make a budget for you, or help you invest money, but it does exactly what the name suggests: tracks your spending. It helps you categorise and organise how you spend your money and generates graphs that reflect this. It’s very simple, making it super easy to use.
Saving and budgeting can be rather time-consuming however, that's why people often opt for instant gratification. What is important is that you are aware of your spending limits.
Being able to buy whatever you want, whenever you want it is a great feeling. And credit enables you to do just that, but it comes at a cost. When buying on credit you’re paying interest and other fees that often detract from the original intent of Black Friday – to save you money.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be buying on credit, but high interest rates and hidden costs are something you need to keep in mind when making Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.
There is one route that should be approached with extreme caution: taking out a personal loan to purchase the items you want. Taking out a personal loan for Black Friday purchases is a common trend in SA, but it has a downside: some reports have found that you’ll likely end up spending double what you paid for on the day.
But if not credit or loans, then what? Well, that’s why your Black Friday preparation needs to be done ahead of time and you need to ensure you’ve saved for the shopping period. Making use of your current or savings account is a great way to mitigate the costs incurred with the interest on credit or loans.
As one of South Africa’s leading payment providers, with 80% of the pay by bank market using Ozow, we’re well positioned to facilitate your payments this Black Friday.
Our systems are designed to scale, so they can handle the increased volume of transactions without experiencing any downtime. And our track record proves this: over the last four years we’ve never experienced a system outage during Black Friday. We’re also well equipped to handle large transaction values, in fact in November 2021 we processed one transaction of half a million Rand.
In the same vein as buying on credit, Ozow helps you scratch the instant gratification itch. Being able to benefit from super secure, almost instantaneous payments makes any shopping experience that much better. This also means that the merchant can release your goods immediately because they are notified as your payment is successful. What's more, with Ozow there are no hidden fees and our payments are data free.
We hope this information has you well-prepared for anything Black Friday might throw at you. If you want to find out more about paying with Ozow, and what makes our payments so secure then visit us online.