Save Money on Black Friday

Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—is advertised as one of biggest shopping days of the year. With all the hype and markdowns, it’s easy to get caught up and spend money that you were not planning on spending. Here are a few tips that may help you save money this holiday season.

  1. Decide how much you want to spend. A good rule is a budget no more than 1.5 percent of your income for holiday expenses. For example, if you make $50,000 a year then set aside $750. This saving includes travel expenses like airline tickets. Also, when going out Black Friday shopping, it may be a good idea to make cash purchases. Once you’ve budgeted for what you’re hoping to spend, take that with you in cash. If you bring your credit card along, you’ll be more likely to overspend.
  2. Make a list. Whether you’re a spreadsheet junkie or a habitual list-maker, write it down. The most significant way you can waste money is by going out without an agenda when you’re more likely to make impulse purchases. This wish list should include a rough idea of how much you are planning on spending. Tons of items will be on sale, and while they might seem like bargains, it’s just unnecessary spending unless you need to buy it.
  3. Do your research. If you’re in the market for big-ticket items, such as electronics, compare product reviews before you head out to the store and make sure you’re getting items that are worthwhile and fit what your wants or needs. There’s no point in spending money on something that many others have found to be unsatisfactory or of poor quality.
  4. Plan and compare prices. A lot of places will offer deals on the same items, such as televisions, tech gadgets, etc. Browse store ads before heading out to see the sales and where, so you know which stores are worth venturing out. However, be sure to read the fine print! While one store may offer a cheaper TV, that price may only be valid until a specific time or within limited quantities. Another place may provide an unrestricted discount on the same item for a few dollars more. It’s also a great idea to check prices with online retailers. Many sites will offer free shipping as a perk.
  5. Get a head start. Many stores now start offering discounts up to a few weeks before Black Friday. Keep an eye out for promotions in the mail, as well as your email inbox. You might be able to save more and beat the crowds!
  6. Check the return policy. Make sure any items you purchase can be returned at full price. You wouldn’t want to get stuck with something you don’t need, or you’ve changed your mind about without the option of exchanging it.
  7. Stay home. Don’t need anything you see in the ads? Then don’t go out! It’s fun to browse sometimes, but the biggest shopping day of the year isn’t your best bet for that. Avoid the temptation altogether and venture out for smaller items you might be looking for at a later date.
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