With the holiday season coming up, Black Friday is just around the corner. Often called ‘the shopping event of the year,’ it’s a day filled with sweet deals, hefty promotions, and oftentimes chaos. Whether you’re a seasoned shopper or a newbie hopping on the Black Friday-train, the sheer number of discounts and offers can be overwhelming. In the midst of this shopping frenzy, it’s easy to get carried away with all the promotions, offers, and doorbuster deals.
However, with the right strategy you can make the most of Black Friday without overspending. This lets you snag great deals for items that you really need and avoid unnecessary expenses.
We’ll go over an easy-to-follow 5-step gameplan to help you make the most out of Black Friday and stay within your budget. While the shopping day can be hectic, we’re here to help you cut through all the chaos.
The goal here is to help you make financially-sound decisions, and shy away from unfulfilling impulse buying. Let’s dive in!
Don’t Make Unintended Buys
First step, which is probably the most important tip. If an item is on sale during Black Friday but you didn’t need it in the first place, then why would you buy it? If you weren’t planning on buying the item and still buy it, you’re actually losing money and not getting a ‘deal.’
Maybe it’s a bit of an obvious tip, but don’t buy stuff you don’t need. This can get out of hand pretty quickly. Although those Black Friday deals can be very tempting, please don’t fall prey to all those hefty promotions.
Year round, try to keep a list of big-ticket items that you may need or want. Then, if Black Friday comes around, you can go on and try to find the best deal on that item.
You may be saying: “But how to go about this smartly?”
That’s what you’ll read in steps two through five!
Prioritize Big-Ticket Items
Because the sale on big-ticket items is usually way more significant, try to prioritize these items during Black Friday. For example, say you need a toothbrush and a television. Originally, the toothbrush is $100 and the television is $1,500. If you get 40% off on both during Black Friday, you’re saving 40% x $100 = $40 on the toothbrush and 40% x $1,500 = $600 on the television!
This is a prime example of why you want to prioritize big-ticket items while shopping during Black Friday. The larger the purchase, the larger your potential savings. But remember step one, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Do not buy a big-ticket item just for the sake of buying a big-ticket item—buy only those items that you actually need.
Do Your Research
Before Black Friday arrives, you’ve made your list of items that you need or want. On this list, you want to prioritize the big-ticket items, as we said in step two. Prioritizing big-ticket items helps you save even more money. Then, do research to find out the regular prices of those items. This way, you can ensure the deals you’re getting are genuinely good deals. Additionally, read reviews of the items you’re planning to buy to ensure you’re getting quality products.
After you’ve done your research, you have a list of items you want or need. On top of that, you now know how much these items cost normally—and based on the reviews you know if these items are actually worth buying.
Make A Budget And Stick To It
If you have your list of items ready and done your research, it’s time to start making a budget. Before you even start shopping, determine how much you’re willing to spend and stick to that amount. It’s easy to get carried away, but by setting a budget and sticking to it you can prevent impulse buys. This is an excellent way to keep your finances in check.
Even better: set the maximum amount you’re willing to spend per item. That way you can closely monitor your spending for each item and prevent spontaneous splurges. Sure, you can also budget in a few impulse buys, but try to approach it in a smart way. And if it’s your first-time hunting deals in a strategized way or you do not have that much wiggle room financially, we would advise against doing any impulse shopping at all.
If you need help with creating a budget, even if you want it in a more general sense apart from Black Friday, each month I’m hosting two to three free webinars. During those webinars, you will learn everything you need to know to bulletproof your finances. We will go over how to get rid of debt, how to create a budget and stick to it, and how to invest to keep your money and even build wealth.
Please Beware Of Doorbusters
And last but not least, please be aware of doorbusters. These are deals designed to lure you in the door or on the website, but may not always bring you the best value for your money. Often, these items are limited in quantity and may not be top-quality. It’s easy to fall prey to these doorbusters because of their bait price tags, however, more often than not they may not meet your expectations.
Making impulse buys and overshooting your budget in the process is the last thing you want, because it can impact your financial situation. The same advice applies to doorbusters as any other item you may want or need; research it ahead of time to ensure it’s worth the effort and the price.
Weeding Through The Tempting Deals And Promotions
As we touched upon earlier, Black Friday can be an overwhelming shopping experience. If you don’t have a sound strategy in place to filter through the deals and hefty promotions, you could end up in a tough financial spot after the holidays.
In this blog, we’ve listed a 5-step gameplan to help you navigate Black Friday deals with confidence. Ideally, the best thing you can buy during Black Friday is absolutely nothing. However, if you actually do need or want a certain item, Black Friday can be a great time to buy it because of the huge discounts you’ll be able to get.
Following this 5-step plan helps you avoid unintended buys and get great deals on high-quality products that you genuinely need or want. This allows you to be the boss of your own finances this Black Friday, and not be swayed by all the “insane” deals and flashy offers thrown your way.
About the Author:
Marc Russell is a top financial educator and coach. After college, he climbed the ranks at top financial institutions including The Vanguard Group. Over his career, Marc earned his stockbroker and financial advisor licenses before he became a full-time business owner.
Despite his career success, Marc struggled with debt until he used his own financial tips to pay off $80,000. His business, BetterWallet, teaches new investors how to manage their money strategically. Marc’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Time Magazine, CNBC, Harvard Business Review, Bankrate and USA TODAY.