Financial expert warns about being drawn into Black Friday deals

With the holidays upon us, financial experts are reminding consumers to avoid overspending and impulsive buys as Black Friday deals entice people to spend.

Multiple surveys suggest a majority of Canadians will continue to spend the same amount this year as last. However, last year’s budget will not go as far this year due to the rising cost of living.

”This is a time of the year that you really need to think through and be mindful with your purchases,” said personal finance educator, Kelley Keehn. “Get back to basics, needs versus wants.”

Keehn said high inflation could affect your shopping list, but having a budget is a good thing to have.

“We’re going into a very expensive holiday season and I know that temptation is around every corner. I mean, you open up any of your social media, you open up your email, there’s a deluge of incredible deals and sales and things of that sort. But, you have to stop especially for Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday and just say, ‘Look, is that something that you would have bought or needed or even intended on having?’ Are you only being enticed because of the sale? And then of course, keeping the holiday season in mind as well.”

Along with a budget, Keehn suggests being mindful of what you purchase while thinking ahead to the end of the holiday season.

“Think about what would have made you happy. Is it about dining out? Is it entertaining? Is it buying gifts? If it’s all of that, trying to make the end visible,” Keehn said. “How do you take that list and really check in not just once or twice but a lot more than Santa would and just keep making sure that you’re on track.”

Keehn added that people are also being more aware and creative with their gift giving ideas while also keeping sustainability on top of mind.

“I know certainly myself I’m getting creative going on sites like ebay.ca, looking at refurbished items that I can get for 25 to 50 per cent less than new collector’s items. I’ve got a lot of sports fans in my family. So thinking about how can you make those dollars also stretched further,” she said.

Whiskey Jack Boutique on University Avenue in downtown Windsor, Ont., as seen on Nov. 24, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

Keehn explained there are benefits to shopping online and in person, and that shoppers should be strategic in finding a proper balance to avoid shopping fatigue, which could lead to impulse transactions.

“Online can be really great and really dangerous. You can buy a lot online, but also you can choose when you’re shopping, you can take your time, you can do things like literally put your credit card in a different room,” she said. “By the time you physically get up to go and get the credit card to make the purchase, you may already have you know taken that time where you’re not feeling like you wanted as bad.”

Small business owners in downtown Windsor said Black Friday sales both online and in person exceed the allure of Boxing Day blowouts.

“I think if you are a small business, it’s probably not a wise decision to not run any promotions at this time because everyone else is,” said Whiskey Jack Boutique co-owner, Allison Mistakidis.

Mistakidis added, “Black Friday is actually bigger than Boxing Day now. So for us, Boxing Day we try to clear out any remaining holiday stuff or things that we’re tired of looking at, but Black Friday is really a promotion for everything in store. There’s not any item that won’t be available for a discount. So it’s a good time to pick up any of the gifts that we have here.”

Meanwhile, others like BB Branded owner Ayad Saddy told CTV News Windsor that Black Friday has become a prolonged event that shoppers have come to expect.

“We’ve been doing Black Friday since I think 2005,” Saddy said. “During the pandemic, it was mostly online. But now it’s pretty much 50/50.”

Devonshire Mall opens early and closes late on Friday, with Saddy anticipating larger than usual crowds.

“It’s usually a zoo in here,” he said. “We’ve been getting a lot of local support. They’re coming out. Even last weekend was very busy. We pretty much started our Black Friday at the beginning of the month. I think it’s gonna be great. We’re anticipating some heavy, heavy traffic.”

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