Black Friday is coming which means our inboxes and social feeds are about to be flooded with discounts and sales that’ll have our wallets fluttering. But after such a crazy year, the last thing we need is $500 worth of non-refundable regret.

While the easiest way to avoid going broke on Black Friday would be to avoid the sales all together, you can actually miss out on big savings on things you were going to buy anyway. 

Here’s my 3-step process for navigating Black Friday 2020 without going broke:

Step 1: write out a list of things you’re on the lookout for

When you approach Black Friday spending mindfully, it can actually be a really great way to stock up on things you would’ve purchased anyway, but at a better price. But as they say, the house always wins. Retailers hit the jackpot when you jump online to grab your dog food and end up buying 3 other things you didn’t really need, purely because they were on sale. 

So, to set yourself up for success, make a list of things you do need to get – and note down the price you usually pay. Maybe your favourite skincare is running low, or you’ve been searching for an air fryer for your Mum for Christmas. Those types of spends are mindful ones, because you would’ve bought them anyway and you’re not blinded by sale hysteria.

By noting down what you usually pay, or what you were expecting to pay at full price, you can make sure you’re not getting duped by dodgy sales tactics and fudged discounts. Only buy if the price is appropriately less than the real RRP. 

Step 2: write out a list of things you are not allowing yourself to buy

What are your vices? Clothes? Games? Tech? Jewellery? Consider what’s most likely to trip you up and note them down. Consciously stop yourself from even entertaining the idea of buying things from this list, because you know you don’t really need or want them, and you’re far more likely to run the risk of purchase regret.

Step 3: diarise a review of anything you did purchase

Another way retailers hit the jackpot when it comes to Black Friday sales is that December is a busy month, which means those bits you added to cart with the intention of returning for a refund if they weren’t totally perfect are more likely to get forgotten. 

Diarise a review of anything you did buy, about 7-14 days after Black Friday. On this day, go through the things you bought, decide once and for all whether they’re staying or going, and actually make the return. If things need to be posted back, post them. If you need to hit the local shopping centre and do a mass return spree, block out the time to do it. If your purchases aren’t perfect, get your dollars back in your pocket.  

Go forth and shop mindfully this Black Friday!