Remember the days of running to the shops to pick up the last-minute items on Christmas Eve? For many that has now become a distant memory (or some would say nightmare) thanks to Black Friday, which this year falls on 23 November. A few years ago, Black Friday was a foreign US concept, something to do with Thanksgiving, we believed. But like all good US trends, it made its away across the Atlantic and now packages containing discounted Christmas presents are arriving through our postboxes before December even arrives. It has made many of us more organised and more frugal, but Black Friday can also make us a little mad with over €100m spent in Ireland on that one day last year. So before you start typing that 16-digit credit card number, our advice helps you benefit from the deals without going overboard.

1 Make a list: Santa may be making a list and checking it twice, so, when it comes to Black Friday sales, you need to do the same. Make out a clear budget for your Christmas spending and stick to it. The benefit of Black Friday really comes into its own when you find the product you want at a reduced price. So, for example, if you are planning on spending €50 on jewellery for your mother and you find the product you like for €40, you’re saving €10 and she is still getting a quality present. Without a list and a budget, you could end up in financial hot water before December begins.