How to survive Black Friday

Black Friday Shoppers

Here at Money for Life, we want to help you make the most of your money. While days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like perfect ways to save money on your purchases, all is not as it first appears…

There’s the name for starters. If Black Friday was such a great thing wouldn’t it be called something that sounded less like a horror film. Like Gold Friday or Bargain Friday or Good Friday? (Ok, we accept that the last one’s taken).   

Black Friday was created in America and was actually named by the Philadelphia police department in the 1960s after so many people went out shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving that it caused traffic accidents and led to violence in the city. Not wanting to miss out, Britain inherited the tradition around five years ago and has since turned into one of our biggest shopping days of the year (£2.2 billion was spent on the day last year, and £3.3 billion over the entire four-day weekend from Black Friday to Cyber Monday).  

So despite being an incredibly stressful day for many (apparently 9 in 10 people will try to avoid shopping on Black Friday due to stress) and half of us thinking it’s just a marketing gimmick, Black Friday can help you make the most of your money if you follow our top survival tips:

  • Set a budget. Don’t get carried away. Just because you’ve found a bargain or two doesn’t mean you can spend money you don’t have. 
  • Do your research. Work out exactly what you want to buy, how much you’re willing to spend and don’t get distracted by glittery baubles that you won’t end up using – and if you don’t want to use them, I doubt if you’re mates will want them as presents! 
  • Shop online if you don’t fancy the high street crush. Avoid the queues and take advantage of some exclusive online offers. 
  • But if you’re buying online make sure it is a genuine website. For more info check out our article here.  
  • Watch out for phishers – what might appear to be genuine emails or texts offering bargains by reputable companies might in fact be cons to get you to reveal your details  
  • Know your rights – you have 30 days to return a good that is of not satisfactory quality. For more info check out this article. 
  • Always get a gift receipt. You might like the present, but it doesn’t mean they will. Gift receipts allow them the opportunity to return the gift without revealing how much you’ve spent! 
  • Download a decent smartphone shopping app (e.g idealo shopping, PriceSpy) so you can compare and contrast the bargains.  
  • Shop with a friend. It’s always good to have someone with you to control your spend-spend – spend  
  • You could do your Black Friday shopping through a site like, and raise money for a number of charities.  Black Friday? More like Fundraising Friday!

Good luck!


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