Black Friday is less than 2 weeks away and online shops are already advertising their deals. Falling on Friday 27 November this year we will see more online deals available as we are unable to visit most stores, and the deals won’t be restricted to one day, with Cyber Monday following close behind on Monday 30 November.

Take on the day in the smartest way for you and your finances, and head into December with no regrets, with our Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) top tips.

Give yourself a budget

This will be different for everyone – but whatever the size, figure out now how much you can afford to spend. Having a number in mind will help you pick the best deals for you without being tempted into bigger offers. You could do this as an overall budget (if you have a pot saved for Christmas shopping) or per item. If you aren’t sure where to start, try our online budgeting tool provided by the Money Advice Service.

Create a shopping list

If you are using Black Friday to start your Christmas shopping then start thinking now what you might be buying for your loved ones. If you are shopping for yourself think about what you already plan to buy in the next couple of months. Getting a great deal on something you were going to buy already is the best way to take advantage of Black Friday without overspending on impulse buys.

You can even create wish lists of items on some websites. That way you will save time, see quickly which prices have dropped, and avoid trawling through pages of offers.

Do your research

What shops are you likely to buy your shopping list items from? What did they do last year? Was it cheaper on Cyber Monday? Did they do another sale before Christmas? Is it worth waiting until the New Year? Are there other discount codes you can use with Black Friday offers? There’s so many useful forums and articles out there, so start Googling these questions before Black Friday.

You can see the price history of Amazon products on CamelCamelCamel to see if Black Friday actually offers you a better deal. PriceRunner also allows you to check products across retailers. Research the products themselves by checking the reviews of certain brands. It might not pay off to buy a badly reviewed product just because it has a better deal.

Some shops will match prices. If it makes sense for you to buy from a particular retailer (for example if you have a gift card or they offer free postage) check if they will match a cheaper offer.

Plan how you will pay

Once you have your budget it is also worth considering how you will pay. Many websites offer ‘buy now, pay later’ offers, either direct or through partners such as Klarna. However, the interest rates on these offers can soar after the first few months.

If you are using an overdraft or credit card you could also end up spending a lot more than planned, cancelling out any offers and discounts.

See below how our loan rates compare to other types of borrowing:

Typical UK overdraft*Average UK Credit Card*Barclays Loan**Buy now pay later^London Mutual Credit Union Loan**
27% APR24.7% APR20.9% APR18.9% APR13.68% APR

As a credit union, we care about the financial wellbeing of our members. That’s why we have no hidden fees, and options to save at the same time as paying back your loan. We are trusted by our customers as shown by our Excellent TrustPilot rating.

Click below to read more about the benefits of borrowing from your local credit union and use our loan calculator.

*This is Money
**£2000 loan paid back over 24 months
^Klarna financing option