Your Black Friday Battle Plan: 3 Tips to Avoid Overspending

If you come out of the holiday season with a financial hangover and a credit card bill that is bursting at the seams, this post is for you!

Last year, consumers spent over $9.2 billion dollars in retail stores and another $17.2 Billion online on black Friday shopping. If you are like my family, you participate in the bargains to get your holiday shopping completed and checked off your to-do list. 

While these sales can be an excellent opportunity to save on your holiday shopping, it’s also a prime time for overspending. To make the most of this shopping extravaganza without breaking the bank, consider these three tips to keep your spending aligned with what is important to you.

Pre-game Planning

Before diving into Black Friday sales where things get emotional, decide how much you can afford (or want) to comfortably spend without jeopardizing your financial well-being. Be honest with yourself about your financial situation and avoid the temptation to overcommit.  

  • Make a list of the people you genuinely need or have been planning to buy for.  It is okay to prioritize who gets covered first (like immediate family), then move towards co-workers, friends, etc. where buying gifts may not be necessary, but it would be nice.
  • Allocate a specific amount of money to each person on your list.
  • Total up the amounts to ensure they fall within your overall budget.

Having a budget in place will help you stay focused and make informed decisions when you encounter tempting deals. It acts as a financial roadmap, guiding your spending throughout the Black Friday sales.

Prioritize Needs Over Wants

Black Friday sales often showcase a wide array of tempting products, from the latest tech gadgets to cute clothes and accessories. It’s essential to differentiate between needs and wants. While it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself to something you want, don’t just buy something because it’s on sale.

To avoid overspending, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this item, or is it an impulse purchase?
  • Can I find a similar item at a better price or during a different sale event?
  • How often will I use or benefit from this purchase in my daily life?

Prioritizing needs over wants helps ensure that you’re not wasting money on items that will eventually collect dust or remain unused. Stick to your pre-game plan and use your money in the way that benefits your end goal.

Research, Compare, and Plan

Black Friday is known for its competitive pricing and limited-time offers, but not all deals are created equal. To get the best deals, invest some time in researching and comparing prices before buying that thing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start early: Begin researching well in advance of Black Friday to identify the products you want and their usual price range. This will help you recognize genuine deals.
  • Use price-tracking tools: Utilize price-comparison websites and apps to monitor price fluctuations on your desired items. Some tools even provide price histories to help you spot true discounts.
  • Make a shopping plan: Create a shopping strategy, which may involve prioritizing specific gifts, stores, or time slots when discounts are their highest. Avoid impulsive buying by sticking to your plan.

By being well-informed and having a plan, you can navigate the Black Friday sales like a boss without feeling pressured to buy something you don’t really need or want on the spot. Take advantage of the deals that truly align with your needs and values.

Remember, the key to success is spending wisely and staying within your means, ensuring that Black Friday remains a positive experience for your wallet without the financial hangover come January. Happy bargain hunting!