Originally a US-only phenomenon, Black Friday is quickly becoming as much a part of the run-up to Christmas as decorating your Christmas tree, listening to Wizzard and watching festive films.

 

It’s a day where high street and online retailers offer major discounts, and experts are predicting record sales for 2015.

 

This year Black Friday falls on November 27, so there’s still time to make a plan and make sure you’re spending your hard-earned money wisely…there’s nothing worse than getting carried away and spending too much money on things you just don’t need.

 

According to Dr Thomas Webb, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, “Black Friday poses a classic self-control problem because people are often tempted to buy things that they want, but do not need, simply because they seem like a good deal.”

 

But worry not, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to get the best from Black Friday without overdoing it:

 

  • Make a list: work out what you need or want to buy as gifts, check prices in advance and note where the goods are available. 
  • Set a limit: decide how much you want to spend – and stick to it! 
  • Shop around: compare prices, but also factor in extras like free extended warranties and delivery costs to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 
  • Spread the cost: Lots of credit cards offer 0% interest on purchases which can help you spread the cost for up to 27 months; remember that store credit can have high interest rates and fees. 
  • Peace of mind: Credit cards offer additional protection if your item is worth over £100. If the gift gets lost in the post, the shop goes bust, or your item is faulty, then you can ask the credit card company to repay you under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. 

 

If you’re not the sort of person who starts their gift-hunting in the January sales, Black Friday can offer a great opportunity to kick-start your Christmas shopping. But make sure you’re being clever about your spending and compare credit card deals before purchasing.

 

Jody Baker, our Head of Money, says, “It’s easy to lose your head in the excitement of the sales on Black Friday, so carefully consider if you are making a sensible purchase that you’re going to get use from."

 

“Buying on credit cards can be an option if you use it effectively. There are many 0% interest credit cards available but consider if you can afford the repayments and that there may be fees involved. Be sure to make regular payments above the minimum amount to pay off the balance on the card before the interest free period is over to avoid any additional cost.”

 

The British Banking Association predicts that 736 million purchases will be made on credit cards in October, November and December this year. Make sure your spending is smart.