These days, it’s not uncommon for retailers to fill the shelves with Halloween goodies on Labor Day. And come at the end of October, you often see Christmas decorations on display. So, in the spirit of planning ahead, now is the time to establish your strategy for Black Friday shopping.
To be clear, there are often great deals on what is widely considered the best shopping day of the year. But there is also a risk to shopping on Black Friday: overspending and racking up a giant credit card bill. Here are some basic rules to follow to avoid overdoing it.
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1. Set a budget
There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of Black Friday, as long as your purchases don’t put you in debt. But if you build up a credit card balance that you can’t pay and have to carry around, you risk paying interest, which could potentially hurt your credit score.
This is why budgeting for Black Friday is so important. Take a look at your paychecks and see how much money they’ll provide for Black Friday spending. Then assess all other sources of money. For example, if you’ve put money aside in a holiday shopping savings account, that’s money you can use for Black Friday. Establish a spending total and memorize it.
2. Make a list and stick to it
The number of Black Friday deals can be overwhelming. It is essential to make a list of the items you are looking to purchase and to avoid straying from them.
If you’re drawn to discounts and other offers on this day, you might be able to maximize your budget before buying everything on your holiday gift list. The result? Unhappy family members and friends.
3. Have a cut
Black Friday deals tend to start at dawn (they’re called “doorbusters” for a reason) and last all day. Heck, some Black Friday promotions even start the day before. All in all, you could spend many hours shopping. And the more time you spend shopping, the more likely you are to buy things you don’t need or can’t afford.
That’s why it’s good to have a cut. If you’re planning to start your Black Friday shopping at six in the morning, commit to finishing before noon. If you spend too many hours online or in stores, you might fall into a shopping haze, throw logic and reasoning out the window, and keep swiping your credit card.
Black Friday might be an event you look forward to, but be careful that it doesn’t become detrimental to your finances. If you plan to buy it on Black Friday, stick to these guidelines so you don’t regret your purchases and fight debt for the months to come.