Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and many retailers offer deep discount on big ticket items. There are also many discounts on less expensive items.
You can save a lot of money on Black Friday, but it’s also easy to ruin your budget on Black Friday if you’re not careful. How do you balance shopping for bargains and staying within your budget?
1. Some budget shoppers make a plan and stick to it, no matter what. Sit down with the ads, either in the newspaper, at the Black Friday website or by downloading the Black Friday app.
2. Make a list of what you might want to purchase from each store. Warning: there are several Black Friday ads on each website already so this could take some time.
3. Some shoppers come into the stores with a budgeted amount for each person on their list and don’t let themselves be swayed by impulse items at each store.
4. Some shop Black Friday like they are in a casino, setting a total amount they plan to spend and only using cash to avoid going over the budgeted amount.
5. Some people hate to budget, feeling constrained at the idea of not being allowed to spend their money as they see fit.
6. Budgeting, according to Dave Ramsey, is “just spending your money with intention.” The best Black Friday plan to avoid overspending probably combines all of the above.
8. Set a total budget for Christmas gifts. Decide how much of your total budget you plan to spend in a single day. Are you okay with doing most or all of your shopping on a single day or would you rather stretch the shopping out longer?
9. Set individual budgets for each person on your list. Using the individual budget amounts, jot down some ideas for each person that are within the budget.
10. Compare and contrast the ads to find the best bargains in each category. Each store will have some teaser deals intended to get customers into the store. Often, there are only a few of each teaser item in stock at each store.
11. Make a list and bring it with you to each store. Decide on just a few stores or maybe even only one store to help keep you from overspending.
12. Bring a calculator along. Many phones have built-in calculators so this step is pretty easy. Write down each gift you buy and note the amount spent beside each gift.
13. Keep a running total for each person your your list. You can keep a running total on your calculator to monitor how you are doing.
14. Know yourself and your limitations. If you know you will have a hard time staying within your budget, use only cash. You can even portion the cash out into separate envelopes for each person on your shopping list.
15. You may also want to skip the early bird sales if you know you can’t turn down a great sale. Shop a little later in the day and you’ll still find many bargains but you won’t give in to Black Friday fever.
You don’t have to blow your budget to shop on Black Friday. You can hit the sales, pick up some bargains and come home with money still in your pockets.
If you have any questions or need an accountability partner, please don’t hesitate to call our office.
SMART MONEY TIPS are published to provide practical personal financial tips relating to budgeting, saving, spending, debt, credit, financial wellness, planning for the future, and other personal finance topics. For comments or questions, please e-mail us at at Linda@financialfreedomcoaching.com. We are located in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and are dedicated to educating you to take control of your personal finances and financial future. Services include confidential personal financial coaching and mentoring, personal financial counseling, and financial education through financial literacy seminars. Linda A. Stortz is a CPA and financial literacy advocate, having earned the Accredited Financial Counselor and Certified Credit Counselor credentials. For more tips, please go to http://www.financialfreedomcoaching.com.
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