It’s Black Friday next week which will be quickly followed up by Cyber Monday.
Our email inboxes are already filling up with offers from all types of offers, from electronics to apparel and fashion brands. Most retail websites we visit are offering generous voucher codes.
We can’t browse social media without finding clickbaitesque deals, we can’t read a newspaper or watch TV, or even listen to the radio without being offered even more discounts.
It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and end up spending more than we should. However, you should avoid spending money that you don’t have.
Resisting the pull of Black Friday and how it can affect mental health
Compulsive Buying Disorder also known as shopping addiction or oniomania, is a damaging behaviour and affects as many as 1 in 20 people.
Being addicted to online shopping should be recognised as an actual mental disorder, psychotherapists from the Comprehensive Psychiatry journal have argued.
Researchers say they can pinpoint distinct symptoms and characteristics of the condition and say how it affects the mind.
‘Buying-shopping disorder’ (BSD) has been recognised for decades but experts say it is taking on a new meaning in the internet age.
The Priory Group said that sometimes, when people develop an ability to forego another addiction such as alcoholism – other addictive behaviours come to the fore, such as shopping. The same goes for other spending types in the run-up to the festivities, and then the January sales.
Speaking on shopping addiction, they said: “All rationale and reason around over-spending are overlooked for the short-term gain, ignoring the longer-term consequences.”
Some temporary recovery solutions include:
- Getting support (other shopping addicts, therapists, friends) from people who understand the sometimes overpowering urges
- Remove shopping apps from your phone
- Unsubscribing from email and SMS marketing from retailers
- Throw away leaflets dropped through the letterbox
- Avoid the types of websites that you know will offer you Black Friday deals
- Have other interests planned before, during and after Black Friday
- Avoid social media completely. Or, at the very least, you can unfollow or mute retail brands that you’re following on social media.
If you are worried about your mental health and you get further guidance from both SAMH and Breathing Space, two excellent organisations in Scotland that specialise in support with Mental Health issues.
Black Friday debt guidance
Black Friday may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In 2017, a survey carried out by Which? found that 87% of the items tracked during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the same price at other times of the year – sometimes cheaper.
The survey was carried out using data from 94 popular products. These products, which you’ll know if you’re a regular buyer, are some of the most discounted items put on sale during the Black Friday Week/Month duration.
It is also likely that some retailers take advantage of the craze to sell items at a price that won’t really save you much money at all.
This is important to remember when buying more expensive items, especially if it means eating into an overdraft or borrowing money from other sources to ‘grab a bargain’.
One other small piece of advice we can give you – If you see a deal that you think you must take advantage of – add it to your shopping basket, leave it there and come back to it later. If you still feel that you want the item, and you have the money to afford the item, then you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not it was just an impulse purchase.
However, most online retailers have what they call a shopping cart abandonment strategy. Essentially this means that they know 41% of shoppers will abandon an online shop and therefore will attempt to further entice the shopper by adding even more generous discounts. Waiting and biding your time sometimes pays off.
Last year was a Christmas like no other due to the way lockdown restrictions fell upon us all.
As a result of the extended measures, many people missed out on spending time over the holidays with their family and friends. The temptation to make this as a more special Christmas, may in fact heap further pressure on people who are already worried about how they’ll finance Christmas.
Regardless of how you feel about Christmas, don’t let money and debt cause you stress.
Christmas debt can be really damaging…
- It adds stress in the back of your mind & stops you from enjoying time with your family.
- You start the new year on the wrong foot, New Year’s resolutions are trumped by Christmas debt.
- It cost you money. Buy now pay later, credit cards and store cards are expensive forms of borrowed debt.
To avoid going into debt this Christmas, we recommend making a Christmas budget and sticking to it.
Don’t feel pressured to spend more than you can afford. You don’t want to start 2022 with Christmas debt hanging over your head.
Help with unaffordable debts
- Reduce monthly payments
- Become debt free after a fixed period
- Write off unaffordable unsecured debt with a Trust Deed
- Freeze interest and charges
- Reduce creditor contact
For life after debt, trust us.
May not be suitable for all. Can affect credit rating. Free advice also available from moneyhelper.org.uk.