Black Friday Debt Hangover and its Cures
Black Friday has been and gone, and for many residents in Scotland, the allure of snapping up those festive bargains ahead of the crowd and making purchases for their loved ones Christmas gifts was too much and they have unwittingly run up a Black Friday Debt.
It was six years ago that Black Friday really took off in the UK. Now, it’s no longer just a day, but a week-long event with several weeks planning and extensions. Many experts have spoken negatively about Black Friday culture and at Trust Deed Scotland, we’ve seen a significant number of people request help at this time of year, citing credit card and store card debts as one of the biggest contributors to their financial difficulties.
However, at this time of year, Christmas is also the biggest time of year for getting into debt with 13% of Scots spending too heavily last Christmas making for a distinctly sobering New Year.
We all receive offers via our emails, Google and on social media. More concerning for Trust Deed Scotland, is that many of these offers are sold on a ‘Shop Now, Pay Later’ basis with many online retailers encouraging people to buy those items on credit cards. Even more of a worry, the full embrace of Black Friday on the high street with many stores featuring posters in their shop fronts.
And yet with all the bluster surrounding these shopping ‘must-have’ deals combined with the added pressure of Christmas being on the way, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy and go a bit further with your spending. After all, you’re getting yourself a bargain, right? Black Friday may not be all its hyped-up to be. In 2017 a survey done by the consumer-focused group Which? found that 87% of the items tracked during Black Friday & Cyber Monday were the same price at other times of the year. Often cheaper!
If you think you may have overdone it this year and accrued a Black Friday debt, we’ve put together a list of actions to help you avoid Black Friday on credit becoming a debt hangover in the New Year.
⚫ Check the terms of your Buy Now, Pay Later arrangement
Are you sure you’ll be able to meet this later? Be cautious, penalties for late payment can be severe
⚫ Beware the appeal of store cards
“We can give you 10% off if you open a store card today”. We’re all familiar with this conversation with shop workers, right? The trouble is, they are actually a more expensive form of borrowing than credit cards, with interest rates often greater than 30%
⚫ Don’t fund your purchases with your bank overdraft
New banking rules in 2020 are going make this risky borrowing even more expensive. But bank overdraft fees are high already and can be taken off you at a moment’s notice.
⚫ Remember utility bills
Due to our typically Scottish climate, its safe to say that we’re all paying out more at this time of year, with many bills becoming due in January.
⚫ Keep an eye on your wage payment days
It is not uncommon for many Scots to be paid early in December, typically resulting in the longest period between two paydays. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have more money in the short term, as you most certainly will experience difficulties towards the end of January.
⚫ Don’t ignore this month’s bills
Never ever put Black Friday and Christmas spending ahead of your mortgage, rent, council tax bills. These ‘priority’ debts should always come first, regardless.
⚫ Start a Christmas 2020 savings account
In order to take advantage of last-minute deals in next years Black Friday, you can start to plan your true budget. This also means that you can sit down and work out your plan of what you actually need to buy.
⚫ Take on a second job?
Now is the time to take advantage of casual, seasonal opportunities with many shops and hospitality functions offering hours here and there. But check your contract to make sure your employer permits this.
⚫ Skip the Christmas night out
Perhaps you bought a new outfit in the Black Friday sale. You then need to remember to budget for your night out, with the added burden of awaiting taxis. Overcrowded pubs and clubs. Consider whether it is worth the fuss.
⚫ If you think you’ve overspent, Get Help
If you’re having trouble with your finances post Black Friday, Trust Deed Scotland can help you overcome your debts. Our advisors are experts in providing debt solutions and the advice offered is completely non-judgemental and confidential. Why not give us a call today and find out how we can help?
For a confidential debt consultation with a team member, get in touch today on 0141 221 0999 or find out if you qualify in just 60 seconds.