Surviving Black Friday With Your Wallet Intact

by Neil on November 28, 2008

Creative Commons License photo credit: elbfoto

Black Friday is upon us and the official Christmas shopping season has begun. That means retailers will have deals designed to lure customers into a spending frenzy.

Of course with the current economic situation many consumers will be holding back on their holiday spending. To assist in keeping Christmas spending under control I’ve developed a short list of things to keep in mind as you begin your Christmas shopping.

Surviving the shopping frenzy isn’t hard, it just requires a little common sense. Follow these five simple guidelines and you should come out ok.

  1. Make a list of the items you need to purchase. By thinking ahead and planning your gifts you’ll reduce the urge to make impulse buys that increase your spending unnecessarily. You will also save time as you know what you’re going to purchase, you won’t need to window shop for that perfect gift.
  2. Do your browsing at home. If you aren’t sure what to buy for that special someone or haven’t narrowed your choice down, do your browsing on the Internet. Once you know what you’re buying add it to the list you started in #1.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it. Decide how much you are going to spend on each person you are buying for and don’t go over that limit for any reason. You may find the ‘perfect gift’ but if it’s over your budget it isn’t perfect for you! Sticking to your budget is the easiest way not to over spend.
  4. Don’t be fooled by great deals that are only designed to get you in the door. Many retailers will be offering items up at a loss, hoping you’ll by something else. This will result in you realizing a loss. Again, stick to your budget and your list.
  5. No matter what happens, don’t spend money your don’t have. With the current economic situation the last thing you want to be doing is putting yourself into unnecessary debt. We all want to buy the gift that everyone is going to love, that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. It definitely doesn’t require you to place yourself into debt.

I hope these tips are useful and more importantly as we move into the Christmas season I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable one.

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cave2626 11.28.08 at 8:44 am

Great list, Neil. My I suggest an additional point – get the most bang for your buck. When I find that perfect gift but it’s more than I have budgeted for that special someone I shop around. I find that a little comparison shopping often yields a sale someplace.

In a season where most shoppers are in a foul mood due to bad weather, long lines, and empty shelves, retail managers are often happy to help out the polite customer who asked for a small discount on one or two items. You’d be amazed how for a polite inquiry and a smile will go. If many stores are selling that particular item for the same price some retailers will lower their price to make the sale. They know that a happy customer will often return and make additional purchases in the future.

The real key to comparison shopping is not to make impulse purchases along the way. I’ve found that the best way to accomplish this is to make a special trip that is just for “scouting.” You know when you leave the house that you are not going to buy anything. You’re only purpose for going shopping today is to check out prices. This gives you an idea of which retailers are offering the best prices for the items on your list and it can make return trips to the mall easier.

forexwatch 11.28.08 at 12:03 pm

Beautiful Photos

forexwatch’s last blog post..Forex News

Shawn Lim 11.29.08 at 4:37 am

Thanks for sharing your tips.
It is true that we need to plan our budget before we spend
especially in this economy.

Delay gratification is one of the best ways to solve this.
When you see something that you want to buy but it is not
a must-have, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

By doing so, you will think first before you buy.

Goal Setting Activities

Grace 11.29.08 at 11:42 pm

I have noticed that my panic level AND the amount I am willing to spend rises exponentially as the Day draws closer. I think I need to start shopping in September. 🙂 G.

Tess Marshall 12.01.08 at 6:49 pm

Hi Neil,
4 months ago I made a decision not to purchase any clothing for 1 year and then I would reevaluate. I now have no desire to shop except for what I need. ( a few gifts) I spent time listening live to live music and watching children play. Wonder and Joy!

Tess Marshall’s last blog post..Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for A Loving Heart

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