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Black Friday started in the US in the early 1950’s. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, and whilst it started in the US; it has now been incorporated into almost every country’s retail calendar the world over. It is the Holy Grail for retail bargains.

Now, as we all know, going bargain shopping can result in great outcomes for both your friends and family, and your wallet. However, it can also result in the heady kind of high that means you soon forget exactly what it is you were supposed to be looking for and end up draining your bank account (you haven’t yet paid your rent), because you found an antique set of lawn ornaments (you live in a 5th floor apartment), for only £980! (They were more than 75% off! BARGAIN!).

So, we’ve come up with a few sacred commandments to ensure you make Black Friday work for you this year.

1. Make a list of exactly what you need and look only for that.

Passive browsing costs pounds! Don’t be distracted by all the other bargains being pushed at you. If you start clicking on all of the things that you see and think ‘oooh I didn’t even think about buying one of those’, then it will lead into a black hole of spending you can’t stop! Channel your dad when he goes shopping: get in, get what you need, get out.

2. Make a budget of exactly how much you have to spend and stick to it.

This is not new advice, but it’s still sound advice. No need to reinvent the wheel. Figure out exactly how much money you have to spend on Black Friday deals and then stick to it 100%. Learning discipline like this will also help in the long run for sticking to general life budgets.

3. Shop on a credit card.

I’ve only recently been trusted with owning a credit card again and I still approach it like it’s a wild animal. I’m wary of using it. However, online Black Friday sales shopping is a perfect example of when a credit card should be used. You get online fraud protection when you use a credit card, which you are not always guaranteed when you use a debit card. You also don’t have to pay extra ‘transaction charges’ which some places still make you pay when using a debit card online. And last (but not least), by using credit card you are spreading the financial burden a bit. You give yourself some breathing room by being able to pay back your Black Friday spends over a few months, instead of taking the hit all from one paycheque.

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4. Be discerning.

There is a great feeling of pressure on black Friday that if you don’t buy the deal you see RIGHT NOW then it will be gone before you can blink. But try to fight this urge to panic buy and take a little time to see if you can get a better deal on what you want from another store.

5. Capitalise on the free returns.

If you want something but aren’t entirely sure of the size or style on you, then take advantage of the great Black Friday prices and buy it whilst it’s cheap. If it turns out you don’t like it then most places have a free returns policy and you will be able to send it back for a refund; no damage done.

Remember, choose the deals that work for you, and remember that with the Oval Money ‘round up’ feature, you will also be making savings without even trying!

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