Black Friday is an annual tradition for many shoppers, where deals can be had and dollars can be spent – often in excess. It can be an exhilarating day, but it’s also a day where caution should be used to avoid going into unnecessary debt.
Here are a few tips to help you stay on budget this Black Friday (and the rest of the holiday shopping season):
- Budget. It is important to remember that finding a good deal is a great thing, especially on an item you have been wanting for some time, but don’t ever go into debt buying any non-essential item, no matter how good of a deal it is.
- Bring Cash. Using cash gives you built-in constraints, eliminating the damage of last-minute impulse purchases. Once you spend your cash you are done shopping, period!
- Good Deal? Determine what a good deal is. Just because you find something well below its typical price doesn’t mean it is a good deal, at least for you. A good deal is a good deal only if it’s something you wanted in advance, and only if the price is far below what you had planned on spending previously on that item.
- Shop Smart. Only shop at places with a good return policy. With online shopping overtaking in-store purchases for many shoppers, make sure the stores you frequent make it easy to ship back items you no longer want.