If you follow many personal finance bloggers, then you are going to read a lot of articles about why Black Friday shopping is a bad idea. The lines are long, the deals aren’t nearly as good as advertised, and you will spend way too much money. I bet those financial bloggers have never actually gone shopping on Black Friday.
Black Friday shopping is about the rush of getting a great deal, standing in long lines with friends and family, and getting a lot of shopping done all in one day. Even I have been known to hunt for deals on Black Friday. The truth is, there are a lot of great deals out there, but you do need to be careful. So as you prepare for your Black Friday shopping extravaganza, remember these 2 tips from Santa:
“He’s Making A List”
Before he starts making toys, Santa ALWAYS makes a list. This is so he can keep straight who he is buying for, and what he plans on buying. This helps him be sure he doesn’t buy too much, or spend too much money.
Sit down and make a list of everyone you plan to buy presents for. Include yourself on the list... you know you are getting something for all your hard work on Black Friday! Then, go through the Black Friday issue of the newspaper to find what you want to buy each person. Put a price next to each gift so you know how much you are spending.
“He’s Checking It Twice”
When you are out shopping, you are sure to find great new deals you were completely unaware of. Resist the urge to stray from your list. You have to keep in mind that the businesses are using really good deals to get you in their store so that you will buy the not-so-good deals they have available. To beat them at their own game, you have to stick to your list and not get suckered into the not-really-deals they will have going.
When you buy for someone, cross it off your list. When you are tempted to buy them just one more present, look at how much you have already spent... it will probably help you realize that you have spent enough, and move on.
Now, I’m certain Santa finding out “who’s naughty and nice” comes into play when deciding who to buy for, but I will leave that for you to decide. Just remember, it is perfectly fine to go out and enjoy yourself on Black Friday. Just make a list of what you will be buying, and stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending for the holidays!
Think Santa has other things to teach us about Black Friday shopping? I would love to hear your thoughts! Share them in the comments section.
Alan Moore is a fee-only financial planner and founder of Serenity Financial Consulting in Shorewood WI. Follow him on Twitter @R_Alan_Moore. You can contact him at email@example.com, 414-455-5313, or visit his website at www.SerenityFC.com. Want more education? Download your free guide to the “10 Easy Steps To Securing Your Financial Future Today.”