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Ready or not, Thanksgiving is already next week. Which means that Black Friday is also right around the corner.
Do you like to get up super early on Black Friday and make your way through the crowds for the best deals? Or does the thought of that just stress you out?
I was always the one that would rather sleep than deal with crowds. However, the women on my husband’s side of the family really enjoy waking up super early and heading to the mall and I have a great time going with them when I’m not spending the Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago with my side of the family. And I also really enjoy it when I find a good deal!
Now that I have a baby though that’s still nursing, there’s a good chance I won’t make it out this year. (Once he’s a little older he will stay back with Dad :)) And that’s okay! I know there are plenty of good deals online I can still find. And many deals in the store last longer than just on Black Friday 🙂
One common challenge when Black Friday shopping is not spending too much money.
I get it. You see a good deal and you don’t want to let it go by (those get them before the price goes up at 10am are always hard to pass up!). And then you see another good deal at the store next door that you must grab before it’s gone. And then another one. And before you know it, you have spent way more money than you intended – both on yourself and on gifts for other people. Can you relate?
This might be you even if you strictly shop online on Black Friday. In fact, without physically touching items, you might even less realize how much money you’re actually spending and end up buying even more than had you been out at the store.
But this does not mean you should stay home and stay off the computer on Black Friday. In fact, I encourage you to find some good deals! But only if you’re smart about it and have a plan going in.
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There’s no reason to go into debt over shopping this holiday season. Use these tips to shop smart and save money on Black Friday.
Before Black Friday arrives, set a budget for how much you want to spend.
Ideally, you would start to budget for this many months in advance (January if possible) so that every month you are setting money aside. This can be toward a full holiday fund or just a Black Friday fund.
However, with it being only a week until Thanksgiving, you don’t have much time left to save money. I would suggest looking over your finances to determine how much you should budget. Remember, a good deal is great, but you do not want to go into debt over buying anything that is non-essential. Having a budget already set will help you spend within your means.
Related: How to Create Your Own Budget in 5 Easy Steps
I’m not one of those people that thinks you should always and only use cash. But I do think there are times when you should. And this is one of those times.
Once you determine your budget, pull out enough cash and use only cash to buy everything. Once you are out of cash, no more shopping! You’re done!
I also suggest leaving your credit and debit cards at home so your’e not tempted to spend over your budget.
Be smart about sale prices
Think about your yearly budget and income and what a specific price means for your financial situation. For example, if a pair of jeans is normally $250 and you find them on sale for $100, does that mean it’s a good deal? There’s no one right or wrong answer to that.
To me, there is never a reason to pay $100 for a pair of jeans so instead of saving $150, I would look at it as spending $100 I didn’t need to spend.
But if having a more expensive pair of jeans is something you value, then that might be a good deal to you and you might want to buy them as long as you have the money for it and it is within your budget.
The point is, be smart about what you’re buying! We all have different things that are important to us and make us feel good that we can most certainly have as long as we don’t go into debt to get them.
Look up the item at other places
Sometimes a good deal may only SEEM like a good deal. I mean, let’s be honest. There are of course places that hike up the regular price of an item to make it seem like the sale price is a good deal.
If you’re wondering if something is a good sale while you’re out at the store, pull out your phone and look up the item at other places to compare prices.
Only shop at places you can easily return items to
It can be very easy to impulse on Black Friday, which can lead to buyer’s remorse, meaning you regret something you bought at some point after you’re home. For this reason, be sure whatever you buy can be easily returned.
When you’re checking out, ask about the store’s return policy to be sure you can get a full refund if you decide you don’t want to keep whatever you buy. If you can, be sure you are at a store that is very easy for you to get back to. If you are somewhere that is an hour away or more, you might want to reconsider buying anything from it.
When I shop with my family on Black Friday, we are usually at a mall about 2 1/2 hours away from my house. So I need to be careful I don’t buy anything at a store that I cannot get back to much quicker than that. That will just make it more difficult for me to return what I bought, which means i most likely won’t end up getting the return done.
Shopping on Black Friday can be a lot of fun and doesn’t have to be a time of going into debt and spending more money than you have! With a few smart choices you can end the year on a great financial note!
Do you like to shop on Black Friday? If so, how do you be sure you don’t spend too much money? Please share in the comments!
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Leslie Carbone says
Good tips, especially the example about the jeans. If wearing designer jeans isn’t part of your lifestyle, then you’re not saving money by buying them on sale; you’re wasting money you could spend on something better for you, like two pair of non-designer jeans. Value is subjective, and all costs are opportunity costs.
Amy Thompson says