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 enticing 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 do 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. They want you to believe that the deals are amazing- but remember: A Deal is only a deal if you can afford it!
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 Black Friday Weekend!
5 Tips to Curb Black Friday Spending:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!