Only in this great, wonderful, prosperous land of America would people be willing to overspend (even while on a budget) and trample fellow shoppers, the day after we have all celebrated with friends and family everything we are thankful for. Otherwise known as the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.
Lately, at least the last few years Black Friday has been starting earlier and earlier, with a lot of hype, and frankly, not a whole lot of incredible deals. Yet, stores' creative marketing convince consumers to buy things for ourselves and others that we really don't need or even want, just because it is on sale. Of course, with certain stores you can great deals, such as a huge TV at a slashed price, technology deals, toys, decor and clothing that you actually want.
However, Black Friday can be just a ton of hype, and just a way to bust your budget on things you and your gift recipients really don't need or want this holiday season. When the deals are great (and even not so great) it can become complete temptation to overspend; and we really mean really overspend, big time.
So, this year while Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday shopping we have compiled some great tips on how to still experience Black Friday with "Tips To Help You Not Overspend, Save and Still Buy Great Gifts". The best part is that if you take the time to read through these tips, plan out your budget and or gifts you can actually save money. Best of all, you can really put thought into the gifts for every recipient on your list, including yourself.
1. Create A List Of All Of The People To Buy For
This is the first step: create a list of everyone you need or want to buy for this festive season. Be thorough, include of course family, friends, any co-workers, and service people in your life including babysitters, mail men or women, and hair dressers. Even if it is someone you give a small gift to, add them to your list.
2. Know or Create Your Monthly Budget Now
Your list is made, you've checked it twice, now make your monthly income and expense budget. This can be simple: look at your monthly income and your outgoing expenses for the month. This is a great way to truly understand what you can realistically afford. If you are going to use a credit card, it is important to make sure you can afford what you are charging, especially around the holidays. If you don't really know how to set a basic budget check out Be Secure Financially's Basic Budget Creation From Izzy.
3. Set A Total Budget For All Holiday Shopping
You realistically know what you can afford. So just like any other expenses, write down your Holiday Spending Budget. This is a great way to plan for the next step, exactly how much you can spend on each person on your list.
4. Now Choose A Dollar Amount For Each Person On Your List
You know what you can spend or have set your budget, so it is time allocate a dollar amount for each person on your list now. Some recipients your list might receive $10-$15 gifts while others may get $50 and $100 and up. Decide how much you would like to spend on each person and write down the amount next to their name.
Not everyone needs to receive equal amounts, you can simply keep these numbers to yourself and really put thought into each person's gift.
5. Create A Gift Sample List Next To Each Recipient's Name
This is probably the most helpful tip so that you don't overspend, write down gift ideas for your recipients. This way you have an idea of what you are going to get them and this can help you to not overspend. Now that you know who you are buying for and how much you would like to spend, you can write down a few sample ideas of things they might like next to their name.
Think about what you know about them. What do they like to do? Shop? Travel? Go to new restaurants?If they are your hairdresser, maybe they would like a bottle of wine, or a gift card to a boutique, or a pedicure. If they are your children, what do they really enjoy doing throughout the year? Would each child rather draw or paint? Do they love playing board games? You don't have to buy the "latest gifts or toys", just think about what they actually like. Gifts are always best when thought is really put into it.
6. Adjust Your List And Budget As You Shop
So, you've planned but see something that may be $5 more than you anticipated. You have a choice, buy it and adjust your list as you shop for others, or find a gift that fits exactly within each person's designated amount.
If you setup a Christmas Fund and have been saving all year, great. If not it is a great idea now, before any holiday shopping to start planning for next year. If you don't have a fund setup, but know what you can spend this is when you can set an actual Black Friday Budget. Many companies do Black Friday "Previews", or honestly just start their Black Friday sales early. (Halloween "Black Friday" this year from certain stores was a little excessive). However, if you check out the stores ads, websites and email lists you may be able to plan before you spend. You can find the exact gifts you want to buy and set your budget for this shopping event.
8.) Shop Online
Based on your budget, recipient and list, you can do all of your Black Friday and even entire Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday shopping online, right from the comfort of your home and phone. This can also help you to truly stick to your budget, because it can take out the temptation of buying more when it is right in front of you in the store.
9.) Browse In Store
If you like the "Black Friday" in-store experience you can still take part. Whether on actual Black Friday or through the holiday shopping season you can still go into your favorite places. Whether they are Target, Walmart, Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus or more. Go in, browse, keep in mind or write down the items you see and like. Then go home, sign up for email lists and see if you can get promotional offers such as 20% off, discounted items, Free Shipping and more.
10.) Use Ebates To Earn Cash Back!
We highly recommend using Ebates for holiday shopping. Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn free Cash Back for spending how you normally would online. All you do is click on a store that you want to shop through (they have tons of stores such as Kohls, Target, REI, etc.), and shop just like how you normally would.
Ebates makes a commission for referring you to the store you just shopped at, and they give you some of that money back as a thank you. Plus, when you sign up through my link, you receive a free $10 cash back with a $25 purchase!
Most of all, have a fun, thankful and Happy Thanksgiving and if you are taking part in Black Friday, good luck!