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Beware of the debt hangover this Black Friday

Beware of the debt hangover this Black Friday

Australians are set to log on in record numbers to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. But while retailers are promising customers big savings, RateCity.com.au is warning shoppers not to get carried away. 

Latest figures from the Commonwealth Bank has revealed spending on retail goods increased 69 per cent on debit and credit cards at the 2019 Black Friday sales. 

Tomorrow’s Black Friday sales are set to break records this year with new research from ING showing 2.86 million Australians are set to take part for the very first time.

RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said: “Sale events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are marketing events designed to get people spending.”

“If you go in to the sales with a set shopping list and a firm spending limit, you could come out the other side with your Christmas shopping ticked off and savings in your pocket. But if you’re someone who gets easily distracted, your budget could completely unravel in just a few clicks of a button.

“If you use a buy now, pay later platform such as Afterpay during the sales, make sure you have enough money to clear each instalment because payments will be coming out all the way up to the 8th of January, potentially even later. 

“Similarly, if you are putting purchases on a credit card, make sure you can clear your debt in full by the time your next bill comes in, otherwise you could be staring down the barrel of a hefty interest bill in the new year,” she said. 

Tips to consider before hitting the sales

  • Write out a list of who you’re buying for and what they might want before you log on. That way you’re less likely to get side-tracked by things you don’t need.
  • Set yourself a budget and make sure it’s one you can afford. The last thing you want is to head into Christmas flat broke.
  • Don’t get caught in the hype. These sales have a time limit on them for a reason – they want you to impulse spend. Before you hit ‘purchase’, talk to your partner or a friend about whether it’s a good buy. 
  • Before you pay for something using buy now, pay later, work out whether you’ll have enough money in your account when each of the payments are due. If you buy something tomorrow using Afterpay, you’ll be paying for it all the way through to 8th of January.
  • Check the terms and conditions to see if you can return the item. That way if you slip-up, you can send it back. The last thing you want is a mistake hanging around, reminding you why you’re broke. 

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This article was reviewed by Research Director Sally Tindall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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