Black Friday is just one week away, and that means you already have likely been bombarded with advertisements & marketing from every retailer in America. While the “sales” could be questionable in relation to the rest of the year, the reality is more of the country spends money on that day than virtually any other. That said, we at GMA would not be doing our job if we didn’t share five quick tips to help you survive Black Friday on a budget.
Have a Budget
This is self explanatory. Don’t step foot in one store, or in many cases, make one purchase online via your phone without first knowing how much you can truly spend. Note, we did not say how much your credit limit was on your new credit card, nor did we say how much you could transfer from your savings account/emergency fund with plans to replenish it in February. Hopefully you are financially prepared for this holiday season, because after all, the holidays come the same time every year. If you aren’t take a good hard look at your finances this weekend, and allocate a responsible amount that you can use for gifts.
Cash is King
This one might surprise you, however we feel for many it will be a life saver. Do not use your credit cards on Black Friday IF you are an impulse spender or IF you know you could be tempted to overspend. You know yourself, and your vices. If you have been prone to go into Costco with the intent of buying the in-laws a toaster, and walk out buying yourself a new washer/dryer, leave the Costco Visa or the Amex Green Card at home. Make a stop at the bank, and withdraw (in cash) the money you budgeted in step one.
Get Everyone Involved
Black Friday shopping should be a fun family experience, and to that note, you want to include your family in the planning. You can assign your kids family members to help shop for, and educate them on the budgeting process.
Make a List
You should enter the store(s) you need to visit on Black Friday well aware of what you are purchasing and the cost. All there’s left to do is go and purchase it. There are some retailers who will make their Black Friday deals available online as early as Thanksgiving morning, in which you could essentially purchase the item with your debit/credit card, and pick it up the next day. If you decide to go that route, stick to your budget, and check each person off the list as you make your purchases.
Set a Time Limit
Don’t spend your entire day in the stores, else you are almost guaranteed to overspend. Set a limit on the amount of time you are shopping, and the number of places you are going. With your budget in place and list in hand, get to work, checking off people as you buy their gifts. If you miss out on something, don’t worry, you will have Cyber Monday and then almost four full weeks leading up to Christmas to get them something.