With Thanksgiving just next week, our to-do lists are full of various chores such as getting the groceries, cleaning up, preparing for any guests and, of course, Black Friday shopping. Black Friday shopping is an interesting and rather stressful tradition that follows Thanksgiving Day. Stores open on Thanksgiving evening and stay open into the wee hours of the morning, with frantic shoppers filtering in and out. Black Friday is significant because stores offer various discounts before the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, making it one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Pre-Black Friday is sort of a haze; several news articles predict how busy this year’s Black Friday might be, many question the validity of the tradition and others provide tips to get the best out of deals. At National Debt Reduction Services, we believe in providing practical advice to our clients. Many sources will offer all kinds of suggestions and advice, but not all these tips will work for you—it is important you consider your priorities first. That being said, here are some helpful things to keep in mind if you are participating this year.
1. Know Exactly What You Want to Get out of Black Friday
Instead of going along with everyone else, take a step back and ask yourself what you hope to get out of Black Friday shopping. Are you going just because everyone else is? Do you genuinely want to participate? Is there something in particular you want to buy? It is important to ask yourself these questions before you go shopping on Black Friday. The last thing you want to do is aimlessly wander into a store, impulse buy everything and regret it later. According to Finder.com, about 52 % of shoppers have purchased something on a sale they later regretted. Don’t let yourself become that statistic this Black Friday—be smart about how you shop.
If you do decide to go shopping, know exactly what you want. Make a list of items you are looking for, the stores having the sales on these items, their prices, whether they are available online etc. In addition, divide this list of items into essentials and non-essentials and try to focus your time on the essentials first.
2. Have a Budget
If you want to be a smart shopper this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you will need to create a viable budget for yourself. According to the Washington Post, in 2017 shoppers spent an average of $335 per person between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of course, this isn’t a prediction of how much YOU will spend, but it’s a number that you should keep in mind. Don’t rely on a random prediction of how much you want to spend. Instead, review a realistic budget out on paper so you know exactly what you are getting into.
3. Research, Research, Research
One of the most important things you should keep in mind while Black Friday shopping is that even a little research can go a long way. Here are some things to look out for when doing your research:
If the deal or sale is exceptional but the product has a low rating, it isn’t going to be worth it. You want to make sure the item you are purchasing is going to be worth the money as well as the time and effort you are spending to get it.
Keep an Eye on Deals
One of the most common mistakes shoppers make is ONLY shopping on the day of Black Friday. However, many stores give out discounts and deals a week before Black Friday. A lot of them continue these sales throughout the holidays. So, if you want to get something for a deal, start looking and researching the Monday before! You might come across some unbeatable prices.
There are several smartphone apps that can make your Black Friday shopping experience better. Apps such as ShopSavvy, Shopular and Flipp provide up-to-date news on any deals, price comparisons, and store locations near you.
Look Out for Online Discounts
Ditch brick and mortar stores altogether and reserve your shopping for Cyber Monday. According to research conducted by Deloitte, 50 % shoppers say they prefer shopping online as opposed to brick and mortar stores, with only 36 % saying the opposite. Online shopping is easy, convenient and far less stressful. Plus, you might come across better discounts online than you do in a physical store.
4. Do You Have any Credit Card Debt?
Let’s take a second to talk about credit card debt. More than 189 million Americans have credit cards. The average credit card holder has at least four credit cards and, on average, each household with a credit card has $8,398 in credit card debt. Credit card debt is frustrating to think about and deal with, but if you are planning on shopping in bulk this Black Friday, you need to keep any pressing credit card debt in mind. According to NerdWallet, about 1 in 4 people who purchased gifts during the holiday or Black Friday season using their credit cards are still paying them off.
This Black Friday don’t let yourself become this statistic—credit card debt is revolving debt and while it is useful tool to have, it can be easy to abuse. If you overuse your credit card for a purchase even a little out of your budget, you might be setting yourself up for late and monstrous credit card payments.The issue of credit card debt is so serious that certain sources have recommended ditching Black Friday shopping altogether until ALL your credit card debt has been paid off. However, other sources argue that if you use your credit card with discipline on Black Friday, you should have no problem. Here are some helpful features credit card companies can provide:
Sale Price Protection
If you decide to return something that has been marked down after you bought it, you might not get a full refund. However, some credit card companies might offer sale price protection.
Some credit card companies can double or triple the warranty on an item you buy. Check out your credit card’s policy regarding this.
While some stores might not guarantee returns, some credit card firms might for up to a certain number of days.
Spend Smart with National Debt Reduction Services
We hope this Black Friday shopping list is helpful. If you want to learn more about how you can reduce your debt, spend smart or maintain your budget this year, get in touch with the experts at National Debt Reduction Services. We want to make sure you make smart and lasting financial decisions that are beneficial to you in the long-run. Call us today at 888-987-1325 or schedule an appointment with our experts on our website!