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Raise your hand if you look forward to Black Friday every year! For many of us it's a great opportunity to get some great deals in store. However, in many cases this day has become the excuse to get caught up in a craving for purchases that can lead to a loss of control and an empty wallet! Are we right?

Let's discover why and, above all, how you can avoid that outcome!

The origins of Black Friday

The term itself "Black Friday" probably relates to the colours associated with loss (red) and gains (black) in the financial and retail sector.

Traditionally an American shopping event – held annually on the day following their Thanksgiving celebrations – Black Friday is now an event that has spread worldwide.

Designed to boost the ledgers of retailers after a quiet period, Black Friday has now morphed from a one day shopping event to span entire weeks of discount opportunities, and even spawning other events within it, like Cyber Monday.

Falling as it does, immediately before the Christmas period Black Friday has gained huge global traction as an opportunity to buy discounted Christmas gifts.

Despite being designed by retailers to boost sales, it doesn’t mean that it’s not also a great opportunity for you to get some great deals too! (with a few helpful tips and tricks.)

Don't get caught up in irrationality and haste

Black Friday is all about finding discounts. Because of this, however, there is a high probability that you will be tempted to buy things that you don’t need or really want, purely because the price is right.

The mass, aggressive marketing campaigns of many big retailers are also designed to make you feel under pressure to buy before the opportunity is gone and you miss out. They wear down your logical resistance by providing you with “framed” information, designed to make you feel that this purchase is right for you.

Limited stocks and offer exclusivity are two mechanisms they use to make you feel that you must purchase as quickly as possible, without giving you time to process your thoughts.

Black Friday is also the moment in which fun and viral campaigns are generated – like this one with the Addams family – as these have proved more successful in making consumers reach for their wallets.

Make it a party for you and not for shopkeepers

The best way to avoid unnecessary spending on Black Friday? Come prepared with a list and a pair of blinkers.

Throughout the year make a comprehensive list of what it is you want to buy during this discount season, and don’t let your self be tempted by automated suggestions or alternate offers. Research the standard retail price of each product you want, and then compare them against the prices listed at Black Friday. If you can make a substantial saving then be sure to cash in and order what it is you need.

By doing this you are turning the tide in your favour.

Give in to some whims, but only deliberately

This obviously doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t give in to a few discount whims. The important thing though, is that you decide what you give in to, and that you make each choice consciously.

Just remember our motto: this Black Friday, #bemoneywise!

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