A Deal is only a Deal if you can Afford it…

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Can you Afford it?

That is the FIRST question you should be asking when evaluating Black Friday Deals

A deal is only a deal if you can afford it… Keep on repeating that to yourself as all the Black Friday deals start popping up on your feed and you pass all those ads.

Black Friday can be a day to get some good stuff that you need but it can also be a day where you blow all your money on impulse shopping.

If you are spending money that you don’t have than you CANNOT AFFORD IT. This is true for credit cards as well. If there is no money in the bank to pay it off immediately than you are not able to afford it. Even if you are getting cashback, points or rewards. You have to evaluate every “deal” by recognizing that you are borrowing money for it. Are you willing to borrow money for this “amazing deal”? Chances are NO.

If you budgeted and planned for the shopping that you are doing on Black Friday than you are good to go! For many people, like myself, this is a chance to get things that we really need at a price that we can afford. If you celebrate X-mas or Hanukkah by giving gifts than this really can be an amazing opportunity to get the people you love things that they want. This can also be a time to stock up on things that you may need, like clothing, winter gear or baby stuff. BUT its not worth it to buy things you MAY need if you have to borrow money on the credit card to so. Don’t forget that stores have put lots and lots of effort into making you think you need something you don’t and into thinking you can afford things that you really can’t afford.

If you really don’t have enough money to get you through the month because your expenses are more than your income than you need to learn how to close the gap! So check out how to do that in this amazing (I know, I know) blog post here. 

So here are some tips to guide you through the weekend.

5 Tips to Curb Black Friday Spending:

5 tips Pin

  1. Make a list of what you need and stick to the list. Spending $16.97 on Rubbermaid Storage Containers is great if you need storage containers, but if you never use storage containers then it’s just $17 in the garbage even though it’s technically a good deal.
  2. Decide how much you want to spend and don’t spend more! The same advice that always applies is even more applicable for Black Friday. Make a budget and stick to it! There is great pride to be had in not going over your spending limit.
  3. Allot some money for splurging. How much will you spend on impulse shopping and on fun things you see and don’t really need. It’s ok to splurge if you have the cash to back it up.
  4. Don’t count on rebates. Rebates can bring your purchase price down by a lot but don’t buy something unless you can afford to cover the entire amount. Rebates have a nasty habit of being lost, forgotten, rejected or take an endless amount of time to arrive. So if you won’t be able to afford to pay for the whole things- don’t buy it. Of course, use every available rebate site! I personally love Rakuten/Ebates.
  5. DON’T FEEL PRESSURE- with all the advertising and marketing dollars spent over the next few days it’s hard not to get caught up in the pressure of needing to buy stuff. It can get to the point where you feel as if you “missed out” by not getting any “good deals” and being left out of all the action BUT there is nothing to gain by shopping for the sake of shopping. Don’t wake up tomorrow feeling like you spent all your money on things you don’t need and won’t use. Many of these items will probably go on sale again at one point and if you are frugal and stick to your budget then you can pay full price for these items at a later point.

Happy Saving!


Want more Black Friday Hacks? I asked some of the best Personal Finance bloggers around for their Black Friday Hacks to help you save a dime on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Eating Healthy on a Budget- It’s Easier Than you Think

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Finding it hard to eat healthy while sticking to a budget?

Sometimes it seems that all healthy food is expensive. Health food= a lot of money. But it does not have to be that way! You can eat healthy and you can stay on a budget.

It’s easier than you think!

It’s hard to eat health food on a budget. Health food is expensive but you don’t need to eat health food to be eating healthy. And you don’t need to buy expensive foods to eat healthfully.

I try very hard for myself and for my kids to encourage and promote healthy eating. Its good for us and I hope it keeps us out of the doctor’s office. Obviously, I want us to be healthy but also medical debt is no joke! Even just taking off work for minor illnesses can really make a dent in a family budget. Is it terrible to say that? Obviously, saving money is not the reason to eat healthy and I don’t know that eating healthy will keep us healthy but it is definitely worth a try! I am not perfect in this area and I do have to balance my budget with my desire to keep only healthy food around. My sanity is also at play here! Sometimes there are things that only chocolate can fix (for me and my children!) Anyway, here are some of the ways that I try to stay healthy on a budget.

I also don’t really meal plan I use Building Blocks to help me always have food in the house and reduce the need for takeout or unhealthy, processed, prepared foods.

 Here are some tips to help you Stay Healthy on a Budget:

  1. Cut down on animal-based proteins. Anyways it is healthier. Dr. Greger has a great book called “How Not to Die” which I love! It explains why eating proteins that are not animal-based are so much healthier for you. I don’t follow his book and diet very strictly- I’m not a vegan but I have started cutting down tremendously on animal-based proteins and moving towards plant-based proteins. It’s much healthier, better for the planet, and other proteins are usually MUCH cheaper. Beans are super, super cheap and quinoa is cheaper than meat, fish or chicken. Try to step away from the need to have meat, fish, or chicken at every supper and look for alternative proteins.
  2. Bulk up the sides. Side dishes are usually cheaper than the main dish. So make your main dish smaller. But instead of going hungry, make more side dishes. Eat one piece of chicken breast and a lot of rice and salad. Start every main meal with a simple vegetable soup. This will fill you up and keep your budget down.
  3. Snack on fruits and vegetables. Buy what’s in season or on sale and keep it stocked. Dried fruit are expensive but fresh usually are not. Get in the habit of eating apples instead of fancy snack bars. Keep fruit and vegetables near you at work to give you something to eat and thereby resisting the vending machine temptations.
  4. Shop online. Amazon (Jet and Walmart too) sometimes have sales on healthy food that you can buy in bulk or get delivered. Keep a running list of how much things usually cost so that you can make sure you’re getting a good deal. And when a good deal comes along- snag it! Buy two and keep some in your pantry.
  5. Cut out pre-packaged snacks and drinks. This one is a basic one but is worth repeating. Stop buying pre-packaged snacks or food. They are usually high in sugar, salt or chemicals and add up really quickly. The low-calorie or “healthy” snacks are usually expensive and not so healthy! Make your own food, eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on drinks that aren’t water. Water isn’t free but it sure is cheap!

Are you trying to be healthy overall but you’re on a tight budget? Read more about Exercising on a Budget!

Do you have any more tips on how to eat healthy on a budget? What do you do to keep your budget down while still being healthy?