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Shopping hacks to help you prepare for Black Friday

Before you get carried away, check the terms and conditions, so that you can return items bought impulsively.
Before you get carried away, check the terms and conditions, so that you can return items bought impulsively.
Image: Roman Samborsky/123RF

We ’re fast approaching the biggest day on the shopping calendar, Black Friday. While there is an array of shopping deals to check out, it is important to keep track of your spending during the shopping craze.

“Before you decide to go big this Black Friday, it’s important to make sure you’ve made provision for all the things you need to pay for before you blow your budget on all the things you want,” says Susan Steward, senior marketing manager at Budget Insurance. To help you make smart choices while you shop until you drop, we’ve compiled a list of shopping hacks to make Black Friday a breeze.

1. Prepare ahead of time

Like all things in life, Black Friday requires preparation. The genesis of your preparations starts with setting a budget beforehand to help guide and limit spending. Steward advises that if you’re planning to buy Christmas gifts, set a budget for each person so you know exactly what you can afford to spend on each of them. You should also consider downloading the apps for the online retailers you know you’ll be shopping from this Black Friday. Not only will you be able to shop on-the-go, but if you turn on the push notifications and add items to your wishlist, the app will send an alert to your phone once the item is available or discounted.

2. Use your smartphone to shop smart

“Don’t feel pressured to take advantage of every deal you see. Lack of control can not only result in you buying things you don’t need, but could easily land you in debt over the festive season,” Steward says. If you’re an avid shopper, your mailbox is probably full of crazy deals and you’ll want to take all of them in a heartbeat, but you need to pace yourself. There are apps like bidorbuy and PriceCheck to help you compare prices across a variety of stores.

3. Get the information on the returns policy

While most retailers accept returns, these may not apply to every item you purchase or could only be valid for a specific period of time. So before you get taken away by the shopping craze, check the terms and conditions, so you can return any items bought impulsively.