Will Black Friday make or break your budget this year? When you stick to a budget and a well thought out plan, Black Friday can be a great time to save money. When you hit the stores without a budget or plan, Black Friday can be a financial disaster. Which will it be for you?
Black Friday shopping– people either love it or hate it
There are the folks who will camp out in front of Best Buy hoping to get a great deal on the latest electronic gadget. I’m sure part of it is the thrill of the chase. Sometimes it’s fun to do something a little crazy.
There are others would much rather enjoy the day sleeping in and relaxing with family rather than fighting the crowds to get the best deals on everything under the sun.
Growing up, I don’t think I even knew that Black Friday existed. My family just enjoyed a day off of school and work on the day after Thanksgiving . When I was away from home for college, I often spent Thanksgiving with relatives (we didn’t live within 2,000 miles of any relatives when I was growing up). I learned from my extended family the thrill of Black Friday shopping. One year I even went Black Friday shopping with my grandma!
With online shopping, you can have the best of both worlds! You can get great deals, but still stay home in your pajamas with your family. Originally the idea was to hit up the brick and mortar businesses on Friday and the “cyber” sales on Monday, but now the whole weekend turns into an online shopping deal-fest.
I’m kind of in the middle. I don’t love or hate black Friday. Some years I have taken advantage of great deals, other years I don’t shop at all. We are hoping to pick up a few things online, but you won’t find us out at the stores this year.
Here are some tips to help you save money and not overspend on Black Friday:
Make a plan
A plan isn’t just a list of people to shop for. A successful plan will include specific items you hope to buy, the store you hope to buy them at and the price you will pay. With all the ads and Black Friday search tools available, you have most of the resources you’ll need to make most purchase decisions before you shop.
Setting limits with the big ticket items isn’t usually a problem, but the smaller items can easily get out of control. How many yards of $1 flannel are you actually going to use? Decide before you walk in the store, not in the heat of the moment.
Follow your list, not the crowd.
Just because you see someone with 37 fabulous $5 toasters in her cart doesn’t mean that you should hoard toasters too. Don’t just grab something because you see they’re going like hotcakes. If it wasn’t important enough to make your list, you probably don’t need it.
Stick to your budget
It doesn’t matter how “good” the deal is, if you don’t have to money for it, then it’s not a deal for you. Suffering buyer’s remorse afterward always lasts longer that the thrill of the deal. If you use YNAB to budget, you can use the mobile app to easily see the money you have available in different categories.
Take a look at my strategy for getting the best deals on everything and getting the best bang for your gift card bucks. Both of these articles have lots of practical tips to help you save money and get a great deal. If you’re shopping online, don’t forget to go through ebates or another cash back site. You can do this any time before you actually pay. Items will stay in your cart if you just open a new tab/window, go to ebates, then checkout through that tab/window.
How About You?
- Are you a Black Friday shopper?
- Do you go to the store or shop online?
- Have you made a Black Friday budget?
- What’s on your list this year?