If the holiday shopping season seems stressful, then surely no day brings more stress than Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is the day when many retailers offer big savings on select items, encouraging hordes of shoppers to descend on the nearest mall or big-box store. For many shoppers, even surviving Black Friday can eat into their bank accounts, but for the savvy and prepared, Black Friday can provide big savings for the holidays.
We’ve put together five steps that can help you meet the challenge of surviving Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season.
1. Focus on Your Goals
Before you set foot in a store, decide in advance how much you can afford to spend for the holidays. Then use your total budget to determine how much you plan to spend on Black Friday, and set a realistic amount based on what you need. For example, if you know that you don’t want to spend more than $75 on a certain item, let that narrow your search. It can make it easier to say “no” to more expensive impulse purchases. Remember, the same method should also hold true for online shopping.
2. Know Your Objective
The reason stores offer such deep discounts on selected items is that they want to get you in the door. Once they have your attention, they’ll attract you with other items that aren’t on sale. If you want to succeed with your bank account intact, the best strategy is to go straight for the door-busters and avoid the temptation of other items. The chances are that they’ll be discounted closer to the holidays.
3. Gather Intelligence
Loyal customers often get the first crack at sales and special promotions, so follow your favorite retailers on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to their e-newsletters. Don’t worry; you can always unsubscribe after the holidays. Don’t forget to look through newspaper ads, and check websites that leak in-store or online sale information, such as bfads.net, theblackfriday.com, and blackfriday.com.
4. Compare to Win
Price matching is one of the best-kept secrets of Black Friday. Many retailers match competitor prices, which gives you two major advantages: One, you spend less time and gas money running from store to store. Two, you can take advantage of price differences and brand alignment between stores and avoid the crowds. Just make sure you’ve done your homework, and know each store’s matching policy. Walmart, Target, Staples, and Best Buy usually match prices, but offers may vary. Some brick-and-mortar stores even match Amazon pricing, so print or save your online product offers and ask the stores about their policy.
5. Create a Budget
Before you start shopping, make sure that your black Friday plans fit into your overall holiday budget. Don’t have one yet? That’s why we created the Ultimate Holiday Budget Spreadsheet.
This incredible resource allows you to set a holiday budget that fits your income, and lets you plan for all of your holiday expenses before the start of the season. It also provides you with an easy to use holiday shopping planner that allows you to track the cost of every gift before you visit the store.
Want to create a budget for after the holidays?
Schedule a free counseling session today or call us at 800-920-2262.