My favorite time of the year is finally here, Black Friday. On this blessed day, everyone is slashing prices. For a fanatical shopper like me I truly enjoy this day. I love a good deal so much I wait on making some purchases until this day arrives. On this day, I spend money on my wants and gifts for loved ones. To me this is the best time to spend money because you get the most bang for your buck. Why pay more for something you can get at a discounted rate. Sometimes, it can get out of hand and you end up buying something that you’ll never use. If I’m buying something and saying to myself, “just in case I need it down the line”, that’s definitely an unnecessary purchase. I still have a boxed 500GB external hard drive from two years ago collecting dust because of that “just in case”.
Buyer’s remorse is not the only negative that can happen during this time of year. It’s also the time of year when you can take on more debt than you can chew trying to live up to the images we see on media. The image of a Christmas tree flooded with presents and kids going through boxes upon boxes of toys, and games they’ll lose interest in within two weeks. The image that if you don’t buy your kids all these presents you’re lacking as a parent. This Christmas I implore you not to fall for the trap set out by companies to make you spend your money. How much money you spend on a loved one is not equal to how much you love them. In this blog, I want to layout some tips you can use to avoid going into loads of debt for this Black Friday.
1) Know your limit. Hopefully, you have been setting aside a set amount of money to buy gifts this Christmas Season but if you didn’t you still need to set a total amount your willing to spend on gifts this year.
2) Start making your list. Make a list of whom you’re getting gifts for this year and how much you’re willing to spend on them. Subtracting the amounts from your predetermined total amount, you set for gifts this year.
4) Plan out who gets what. Take your list from tip #2 and add who gets what and which store has the sale.
5) Take the list with you on shopping day. When out shopping use your predetermined list and stick to it. This will require discipline and laser focus but you can do it, you’re prepared and able. Avoid, grabbing random items placed right next to the long checkout lines. These are strategically placed to get you to make impulse purchases.
6) Use cash. It is a known fact that people spend less when they use cash. When you spend cash, you avoid over spending. Once, you are out of cash you are done but not so with plastic. An alternative method is to pre-load a debit card with the total amount you plan to spend on purchases. That way you don’t have to walk around with all that cash.
7) Use credit cards wisely. If you do choose to use credit cards take advantage of the card that offers the biggest cash back bonuses at retailers for this time of year. Don’t go over your predetermined limit and stick to your list. WARNING: It is best to pay the balance off in full to avoid paying interest on the credit card loan. However, if you’re trying to increase your credit score don’t pay your total bill of at once. Break up payments into three monthly payments. Remember, 35% of your credit score is from your payment history. Breaking payments reports a payment history on your credit report. With this method, you will pay interest on the credit card loan.
Use these tips this Black Friday and Christmas Season to avoid going into heaps of debt this year. I have actually used these techniques. I started out paying with cash then moving to the pre-loaded debit card technique with good results. My best results came from using cash because once I was out of cash I was done. I’ll honestly say I have used the credit card method because I was greedy, and wanted the cash back. I figured I was going to pay for the gifts anyway; I might as well get some cash back. I’m disciplined enough to pay them off within the billing cycle because I already had the money set aside for Black Friday shopping. Paying them off in full within the billing cycle allowed me to get the cash back without paying the credit card loan interest. Lastly, remember this time of year is for showing gratitude for what we have. Let’s not fall into the trap of overspending and adding stress into our lives by the choices we make.
Happy Hunting to my fellow Black Friday shoppers and Happy Thanksgiving!!!
If you're ready to take your personal power over your money sign up for one on one coaching by clicking the Action Plans tab at the top of this page. If you found this post helpful please subscribe and share it with your friends on social media. Click the social media links up top to check out our other platforms.