If you’re like us, COVID-19 has probably put quite a dent in your finances. You’ve had to assess and adapt your monthly budget aggressively; and change the way you do things so that you can still put dinner on the table while covering school fees, rent, your mortgage and other essential expenses.
By now you’ve probably been seeing and hearing loads of ads for Black Friday specials; and you may be tempted to splurge a bit later this month. But should you be doing it, bearing in mind the current uncertainty and volatile economy? Here’s what to think about before you start swiping that credit card or buying things willy-nilly online.
1. Is this something you need, or is this something you want?
Has your washing machine recently packed up, or maybe you really need a printer for that home office you’ve been spending so much time in lately? These types of purchases, which are pretty essential to running your home and work lives, are totally fine to take advantage of on Black Friday. You’ll save a heap of money and attain something that will make your life better and more efficient.
2. Supporting local small businesses
Many businesses have taken a knock this year, but none more so than the small ones that exist around you. Global corporates have resources they can dip into to keep afloat, but many small- to medium-sized businesses would have been seriously affected by the closures of lockdown, specifically in industries such as retail, dining, travel, and other leisure pursuits. If you do feel like spoiling yourself with something new, and you can afford it, pick a local company that you know needs support. You’ll be helping a business owner cover his or her expenses, so they can keep paying salaries to those they employ.
3. Do it all online
This year online shopping has exploded, mostly because we didn’t want to, or weren’t allowed to, leave our homes for months on end; so we bought what we needed through our phones and laptops. We recommend doing the same this Black Friday: skip the crowds, the stampedes, and the risks associated with no social distancing, and look for the best digital deals. It’s easier, more convenient, and safer too.
4. Get your gifts
If you’re someone that gives gifts at the end of each year, you’re probably stressing about how you’re going to be able to afford it all. Black Friday is a great opportunity to buy things for the special people in your life and save a little as you do so. Whether it’s tech for the teenagers, toys for the toddlers, or fashion for your bestie; get your gift list sorted before Black Friday comes, so you know what you’re looking for.
5. Don’t forget social
You may be heading to your favourite retailers’ websites on autopilot but don’t forget the power of social media to find you what you want. The algorithms are so sophisticated (sometimes scarily so) that you’ll often be presented with just the thing you were researching or thinking about purchasing. Check your ‘Insta-feed’, log on to Facebook, do your research and then shop carefully from the comfort of your couch.
Hopefully, these pointers give you something to think about as Black Friday comes closer. Remember to spend wisely, as we all need to monitor our finances carefully in this time of uncertainty.
Until next time.
The Wise About Life Team