Wednesday 24th April 2024

Does Black Friday really ‘save’ you money?

Mouthy blogger Laura Moore looks at why you might not really be saving money this Black Friday, when you’re convinced to spend on things you don’t need.

You walk past a shop with a sale on and you think: “WOW 40% off, what a bargain, that is too good to miss!”

And you find yourself walking out of the shop with new purchases…sound familiar?

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It feels like you have ‘saved’ money. But the question is, have you really? Or have you actually been reeled in through clever marketing to spend your hard-earned money? 

Let’s think about it… 

When you save your money, you are putting money aside from your pay, into a savings account and building it up over time to reach a goal. 

This is what it means to save your money. You are using the money you earn to become more financially stable, and therefore increasing your net worth. 

But when you buy an item at a discounted cost, the bottom line is that you are actually spending money. No matter how big of a discount you get. 

Let’s say you bought a new pair of shoes that were reduced from £100 to £60. This might be great value for money, but unless you were already planning on buying that item and you physically put the money you saved on the item away into your savings account; you haven’t actually saved money. 

It can be so easy to be lured into thinking we NEED stuff because they are cheaper than the original value, it makes you feel like you are winning. 

And this thinking only takes your further away from financial security and hitting your savings goals. Instead you run the risk of it pushing you to live outside of your means and spend money you had not originally intended to spend.

So how can you differentiate between making a saving vs. spending money when you don’t need to? 

Create a list of ‘need-to-buy’ items, perhaps your shoes are old and you need a new pair, or you need to buy a pair of shoes as a gift for a friend. 

When you know exactly what you need to buy, you can mentally budget how much you might feel comfortable spending on these items and shop around for the best deals – this becomes a conscious decision to spend money in alignment with your budget.

When you then find the item you need and it is discounted, you can buy the item you need at a cheaper cost, so you have made a saving – bargain!

Then, and this part is very important, put that extra money (the savings you made with the discount) directly into your savings account. 

E.g. you had planned to spend £100 on shoes, you find them for £60, you buy them at £60 and put the ‘saved’ £40 into your savings account.

If you don’t put away that money into your savings, it will only get spent elsewhere on something else so no saving was made really, it was just spent in another way.

And remember if the intention to spend that money is not already there, then a discounted item doesn’t mean you are saving, you are simply spending your money. 

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Laura Moore

Mouthy Blogger

Laura Ann Moore is a certified financial coach, financial wellbeing speaker,and host of the Mind Money Soul podcast, talking about finances in a fun, judgement-free way to help people feel good about money, get financially confident, and build wealth.

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