Tackle Black Friday the smart way – here’s how

Tackle Black Friday the smart way – here’s how

Published on 30th October, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Real Black Friday savings start before the notorious last Friday of November. Ready yourself – and your bank account – for the bumper savings with these expert tips.

South Africans love Black Friday. In 2019, the country’s largest payment service provider DPO South Africa reported a 400% trading volume spike on Black Friday compared to an average trading day. Interestingly, the service provider also reports that there was a 35% growth in online sales, which they attribute to better-prepared shoppers compared to years gone by. Statistics also showed that South Africans’ average transactional value per basket on the day was R1 406.

The outlook for Black Friday in a tough economy means we’ll need to work even harder at spending a smart buck, and holding back where it makes sense to do so. André Wethmar, a Certified Financial Planner® at FinPrufe Wealth BlueStar shares top tips for preparing ahead of Black Friday, and making the most of deals on the day for smart savings.

Before Black Friday

Go through your statements
If you want to prepare your bank account by saving up a lump sum of money to spend on Black Friday, the best way to see where you can cut down on expenses is by going through your bank statements and weeding out unnecessary costs. Do you need that magazine subscription? What about those paid mobile apps you forgot about that are chowing your money or data in small increments? Also consider your lifestyle and whether you are unnecessarily doubling up on certain services, e.g. a landline when you mainly use your mobile phone for calls.

This also applies to your risk cover ­– chat with your financial planner about your cover needs, and whether you’re over-insured and could push for more affordable premiums. Click here to find out how you can save up to 30% on risk cover as a Reality Plus or Reality Health member.

Be strict about your budget
You won’t get anywhere close to your savings goal if you treat budgeting as an afterthought. Small unplanned expenses can seem harmless, while they’re anything but. “These accumulate quickly,” says Wethmar. “Stick to your initial plan or budget, thus limiting these expenses to a minimum, or build some fat into your budget to accommodate these expenses.” Save now on the small things (read: don’t be tempted into buying them) to prepare yourself for the big savings event – Black Friday. “Coming across a good special like discounted coffee doesn’t necessarily mean your budget can accommodate it this month,” says Wethmar. “Don’t buy impulsively.”

Use these budget templates and this budgeting guide to get on top of your finances.

Learn to love vegetables
It’s no secret that eliminating the cost of meat products from your budget can have a profound impact on your grocery bill. Get creative and experiment in the kitchen with colourful summer dishes like salads, pastas and veggie-friendly burgers. The environment will love you for it too!

Read this for top tips on how to budget-shop like a pro.

Reality Club and Reality Access for SGR members can also use their Discount Coupons benefit for monthly savings on household essentials that can be redeemed at Shoprite and Checkers stores nationwide.

Be cash-smart
“Don’t withdraw cash if you don’t need it,” urges Wethmar. “Cash on hand tends to be spent more easily.” This will be especially useful if you’re aiming to pay cash for most of your Black Friday purchases – which would be wise, if credit bureau TransUnion’s 2018 stats are anything to go by. According to its CEO Lee Naik, “Almost half of all retail accounts opened in Black Friday week were one month in arrears six months later.” The moment your credit goes into arrears, you start racking up interest. “Avoid living above your means,” suggests Wethmar. “Don’t spend more than what you earn on a weekly and monthly basis.”

Here are some cash-smart ways to save when you’re feeling the pinch.

Snap up the early-bird deals
Yes, technically there’s only one day of never-to-be-repeated offers on Black Friday, but if you’re smart about it, you could bag some great deals while there is still stock of the items on your shopping list. South African retailers know how popular Black Friday is, so many offer pre-event sales in the days leading up to Black Friday. Take advantage of these to make sure you can get everything on your wish list before the mayhem of Black Friday.

Know your numbers
“Know your prices and start comparing them two or three months ahead of Black Friday,” suggests Wethmar. Black Friday advertising is a powerful thing, so don’t be fooled by a rand value in a starburst. Do some digging ahead of the time so you know a true deal when you see one on the day.

On Black Friday

Make your wish list (and stick to it!)
“First identify your needs vs. your wants,” suggests Wethmar. “Then create your wish list.” This is key to keeping you on track and avoiding impulse spends at the first sign of a ‘50% off’ banner. This will come in particularly helpful in those moments when you have cash left over because some of your wish list items sold out. Don’t be tempted to spend it on other deals ¬– rather hold on to it for when that pair of shoes or video game comes back into stock.

Bulk up
By now you know the value of buying in bulk, but you truly max the value when you buy items you actually need in bulk. Think about non-perishable foods your family enjoys eating, school uniform basics that’ll see your kids through more than one season, and other practical buys that you won’t regret splashing out on.

Use your Sanlam Money Saver credit card on Black Friday and not only will you benefit from in-store savings, but you’ll also be rewarded with up to 5% cash back on everything you spend. Apply for one here.

Don’t go crazy on presents
It’s natural to consider the upcoming festive season when filling up your trolley either online or in-store on the day, but getting carried away on gifts could cost you more than you budgeted for. Ask yourself if it’s necessary for everyone you know to receive a present over the holidays, and once you’ve narrowed down this list, stick to a set limit on the cost of each present.

A financial planner can help you make other smart choices when it comes to your money and how best to allocate it. Speak to one today by booking a meeting here.

Don’t forget yourself
Before you’ve even buckled up and headed off to the mall, promise yourself that you’ll get a Black Friday treat for yourself – but at a predetermined amount. This means, if you agree on a R300 gift, for example, a 50% mark-down on a R1 000 pair of shoes does not make the cut. Be strict with yourself – there’s space to enjoy your hard-earned money, but future you would also like to enjoy savings down the line.

Saving doesn’t only have to happen on Black Friday. The best way to save for your future is by putting away money regularly and watching it grow. Use this calculator to find out how much you need to save each month to reach your goals.

Smart choices start with speaking to the experts. Book a meeting with an expert financial planner today to make financial decisions that will benefit your future.

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