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Black Friday: a bit of a grey area?

ipad and laptopOnly six weeks left until Christmas. As yet, I have bought junior two tiny stocking fillers and not a single present for anyone else. He is my major concern – and expense. While he would like endless iTunes or Xbox vouchers, I feel the need to get him something he can actually unwrap.

Currently, I’m thinking of buying him a cheap laptop on the basis that it will free up my desktop and the iPad and he can also – he says- take it into school. I’ve read lots of online reviews and for my needs and (stretched) budget, the Lenovo Ideapad 320s seems a good buy. Amazon currently has it for £319.99 which it says is down from its usual price of £449.99.

But here’s the rub: is it going to get cheaper? Should I buy it now or wait until Black Friday? Or is Black Friday actually a bit of a non-starter? It is on 23 November this year but Amazon already has Black Friday deals. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy to save money on Black Friday – while actually, you might not be saving that much – if anything.

Sarah Coles of Hargreaves Lansdown points out that 57% of us spend more than we meant to at Christmas. ‘Most of us will overspend on Christmas and for many people it starts with poor decision making on Black Friday. It offers the perfect conditions to ensure we spend more than we want or need – creating a sense of urgency that leads us into poor decisions that cost a fortune’. She cites a McKinsey report which says that even before we know what’s going to be on offer, 30% of us plan to buy something – anything - on Black Friday. This is plainly daft.

However, I think I will hang on for a little longer at least before I splurge on the laptop. If it comes down in price, then obviously I’m quids in. If it doesn’t, I’ve lost nothing. If it goes up in price or is no longer available, then I’ll think of something else to get him.

While I will buy his present on my credit card for the extra protection that offers, I will pay the bill off in full. Running up a credit card debt can be ruinously expensive. Check out our guide to credit cards here. It’s also always worth checking out whether you can get cashback if you buy presents via sites TopCashback* and Quidco. I’ve just had a look and TopCashback has 12.6% on Beauty Expert and Quidco 12% on Boden – both ideal for gifts. And much more interesting to my very girly eye than laptop computers, though possibly not ideal for presents for the boy...

And see our guide to credit cards here.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019