Top tips for bagging a bargain this Black Friday

Written by

Stephanie Reid

Stephanie Reid is a financial services expert with over eight years of experience writing money-saving articles at Novuna Personal Finance. She has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics including interior design, home improvements and weddings - with a keen eye for spotting money-saving opportunities and passing these tips onto readers. As a mum of two, Stephanie knows how important budgeting effectively is for parents and often incorporates family budgeting tips into her guides.

Thursday 16th November 2023

As a nation, we love to bag ourselves a bargain in the Black Friday sales. With money tight in households across the country, all of us are feeling the pinch in one way or another — so it's never been more important to ensure you're really getting a good deal on your purchases.

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping periods of the year, with Brits planning to spend an estimated £5.6 billion during Black Friday 2023.

With a bit of forward planning and self-control, you can make the most of Black Friday sales and get everything you need for a fraction of the usual cost. If you’re set to take part in bargain hunting, read Novuna Personal Finance’s advice on how to make sure you get a fantastic deal without going over budget.

Our top 5 Black Friday budgeting tips

1. Set a strict spending limit

It seems counter-intuitive, but it can be easy to overspend when things are cheap. By buying things we never really needed in the first place, we could end up worse off.

Make sure you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on items you’re planning to buy. Focusing on a strict list will help you to avoid going over budget.

Top Tip: If you use cashback credit/debit cards or shop via cashback websites such as Quidco or Top Cashback, you can save even more! If you are shopping using a credit card, however, then ensure you pay off the balance as soon as you can to prevent paying interest.

2. Benchmark your prices

There’s nothing worse than trying to tackle a Black Friday sale with no game plan. Scrolling through endless deals can lead to temptation — and you don’t want to end up buying products you simply don’t need, just because they were on offer.

Note down the items that have been on your list for a while, and research their usual price so you know whether a Black Friday deal really is saving you cash. You might find that a star deal is in place most of the year, anyway, so you could be better off waiting until you’ve saved up enough to buy it later.

3. Don’t panic buy

Usually, retailers extend some of their sales, and it's now not unusual for them to last all the way through to Christmas once Cyber Monday is over, so don't panic and buy an alternative to the desired product when you could just keep an eye out for a future deal instead.

4. Organise your finances in advance

Black Friday always falls on the last Friday in November, so you have plenty of chance to plan for the big day. Start saving up in advance. Whether you set aside a small amount per month, take on a side hustle to turn your hobbies into a handy pay packet or prepare to take out a personal loan for a one-off big Black Friday purchase, start planning way in advance so you don’t have to make any last-minute decisions.

5. Watch out for hidden costs

Saving £5 on an item might seem like a nice little discount, but what if you then get charged £4.95 for delivery at the checkout? Look into any additional charges such as delivery fees ahead of browsing for an item so you don’t end up spending more than you normally would.

How to seek out the best Black Friday deals

Do your research in advance

Most retailers involved in the Black Friday game list their deals as ‘coming soon’ to entice customers in before the big event. Take advantage of that by planning and researching exactly what you want and where to get it from.

Top tip: Do your homework on returns before you press ‘check out’, too. Understanding a retailer’s returns policy will protect you from being stuck with something you can’t use if you do end up making a purchase that’s not quite right.

Sign up to newsletters to help you keep ahead of the game

Retailers sometimes send out discount codes, exclusive offers and early bird deals to their newsletter subscribers.

Many online retailers such as Amazon start offering massive discounts from mid-November, with savings across nearly all products, but make sure you snap up that deal! They change so frequently you may end up missing out.

It’s also worth following your chosen brands and companies on social media to keep in the loop with offers and discounts.

Buy discounted gift cards and save even more!

Did you know you can buy unwanted gift cards online? Well, you can and it’s a fab money saver. Websites such as Cardyard offer gift cards at a discounted cost such as 20% off Waterstones and 16% off MAC cosmetics, so you can save even more by using one of these when you’re doing your Black Friday online shopping.

Leave items in your basket for a little while

Not only does this give you breathing room to prevent impulse purchases, but you may also save a little bit of cash by appearing to abandon your basket. Make sure you’re logged into your account before leaving an item in your basket and closing your browser window — you may be offered additional discount to tempt you back to complete your purchase.

Word of warning, though, only try this tactic if you’re not 100% set on the item. You don’t want to risk it selling out!

Only buy from reputable retailers — watch out for scam sites

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated with their crimes and taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers is their forte.

If you’re doing your Black Friday shopping online, make sure you’re using secure websites (for example, sites with HTTPS at the beginning of the URL) and never click on a link from an email to make a purchase without ensuring the website is legitimate.

If in any doubt, search for the product on their website, loaded independently of the email – if you can’t find it or it’s listed at a different price, leave it behind!

How much do we spend on Black Friday?

According to, Brits will spend £189.59 each during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. That means Brits will spend over 10% of their monthly take home wages on Black Friday bargains this month (since the average UK salary now stands at £34,963).

With Christmas just around the corner, we’re all trying to find ways to manage our finances over the festive season — and buying gifts at a bargain price is one of the top reasons people shop the sales. In addition, many hold off buying big purchases — most notably kitchen appliances or new gaming devices — in the hope of getting a good deal during Black Friday.

Black Friday loans from Novuna Personal Finance

Don't miss out on a Black Friday bargain with our low cost personal loans. You can borrow between £1,000 and £35,000 with competitive rates from as low as 7.4% APR Representative (£7,500-£25,000).

Read our tips to help you decide whether a personal loan is the right choice for you this Black Friday...

1. Only spend what you can afford

Our personal loan products are designed to help people spread the cost of a big purchase — not to fund impulse purchases, however tempting they may be. A personal loan should never be used to top-up your funds to allow you to buy a big ticket item if you realistically don’t have the budget to make the monthly repayments, so follow our above tips to make sure you’re prepped and ready to enter Black Friday with a sensible budget in mind.

2. Use your loan to fund one big purchase

Receiving a loan payment in one lump sum can make it easier for you to buy one expensive product at a cost-effective price. Our personal loans are ideal for those seeking out a very specific, big-ticket item in the Black Friday sales as you can spread the cost by making fixed monthly payments over a longer period.

A personal loan is not a credit card. Credit cards are generally more suitable for making smaller retail purchases, but take a look at our article on the differences between a personal loan and a credit card to ensure you can make an informed decision that suits both your personal and financial situation.

3. Get an instant decision — but don’t apply in haste

With our simple online loan calculator, you can apply and receive a decision in minutes which could be convenient if you happen across an unmissable bargain this Black Friday. That said, you should only apply if you’re sure the product will meet your needs so check out our advice on everything you need to know about personal loans to make sure you’re as informed as possible.

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