Don’t let Black Friday lead to a Blue Monday

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Black Friday. The day when retailers expect to see the colour of your money.

More than one in three families are expected to do their Christmas shopping today, as prices are slashed online and across the high street.

Experts believe that collectively we’re going to hand over £555m online in a single day, as we look to fill our Christmas baskets before December hits.

A relatively new phenomenon in this country, Black Friday has traditionally been a day of frenzied shopping in the United States.

Falling on the day after Thanksgiving, for years our friends across the Pond have been known to clamber over each other – quite literally – for discounted deals, picking up knocked-down TV sets, cameras, computers and the like in earnest. Once we watched as Americans queued for hours in the hope of bagging a bargain, smiling smugly from the warmth of our sofas, thinking ‘crazy fools.’

Now, we’re the ones lining up outside in the rain. Thanks to the likes of Amazon and co, Black Friday is at risk of becoming a fixture on the UK shopping calendar.

For those, like myself, who like to do their shopping online (crowds in the cold at Christmas, no thank you) the date has been inescapable. All week I’ve been told to ‘get ready’ because ‘it’s coming.’ An apocalyptic event? No, just 20 per cent off at Selfridges. While one can be flippant, yours truly has, she must admit, been enticed by the promotion. While a couple of presents have already been purchased, I, like many others, have found myself waiting for today.

List at the ready, I’ll be sat, hand poised over mouse, waiting to click my way to Christmas present contentment. Does that make me tight?

Playing Scrooge this season? I don’t think so. Who doesn’t love a bargain? While obviously the major winners will be the huge retailers, making millions every day thanks to their over-inflated prices, we can still lay claim to mini victories ourselves.

Save 10 per cent here, £20 there, and the end result will always be extra money in the back of your pocket. That’s the plan at least. Until you’re enticed into buying yet more ‘presents’, often for yourself.

Yours truly won’t fall into that trap this year. Not again.

Discipline is the key to staying out of the red on Black Friday. With that in mind, there’s only one thing for it. Ready, steady… shop!