What is your budget for Black Friday? How about Cyber Monday? Do you have a spending plan to make sure your big shopping savings doesn’t put you in debt for the rest of the year?
In 2019, online shoppers spent $16.8 BILLION Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday- and this year is expected to be even bigger.
But with that spending comes a huge rise in consumer debt that shoppers spend months trying to pay off, just in time to do it all over again next year.
If you’re going to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, keep reading for ways to plan ahead, save your money, and make it through the rest of the year with your savings intact.
Your Spending Plan: What Can You Afford?
The average shopper will spend over $300 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.
Do you have $300 leftover in your budget this month?
If you’ve already made a monthly budget, you know that answer. And if you haven’t, here is a great place to start.
If you’re not ready to make a monthly budget, focus just on your spending for this holiday.
Take a look at your bank account right now. Add in any paychecks or money you expect to come in by Black Friday, then subtract out the bills you know you have left to pay this month.
Just remember – BE REALISTIC. If you can’t afford to spend the money this year, don’t shop.
No deal is worth consumer debt if the item falls into the “want” column instead of the “need.”
If you find yourself coming up short every year, take the first step to make a budget and find where you can save a little bit each month so the money is ready to go in November.
Your Shopping Plan: What Do You Need?
Got your budget and ready to spend?
Not so fast! It’s easy to spend a lot of money on things you don’t need when they’re on sale.
BEFORE you take a look at any ads, take some time to take inventory.
What do you NEED to buy?
Do you need holiday gifts for friends and family? How about that one item you’ve been looking at treating yourself to all year?
Make a list of each person you need to buy for and what you would like to buy.
Now take that total budget number from above and divide it up by each line on your list.
Now you have your spending plan!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday: What Should You Buy and Skip?
It’s important to remember that not everything in every store is on sale between Black Friday and Cyber Monday- as nice as that would be!
The best deals you’ll find on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are usually:
- TVs, laptops, smartwatches, cell phones, and other technology products
- Movies, travel specials, video games, and other items for entertainment
- Cosmetics and beauty supplies, including name-brand makeup, clothes, and shoes
- Appliances, tools, and home products
- Furniture and mattresses
Savings tip: If you’re an Amazon Prime shopper, Amazon branded products like Kindle Fire, Amazon Alexa, and Firestick will ALWAYS be on sale. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
Your Smart Shopping Plan: How Can You Save Money?
Now that you know how much you’re spending and what you’re buying, it’s time to find ways to SAVE!
Start with a strategy: are you buying in-store or online? Shopping in-store requires paying attention to store hours and doorbusters and making an itinerary so you don’t miss a deal.
Now that you have your strategy, it’s time for some research.
Do you know what each of the items on your list normally costs? Check it out BEFORE holiday shopping starts so you can see if you’re actually getting a good deal!
Websites like CamelCamelCamel and Wikibuy can help you track prices over time. Just find the item you want to buy online, add it to one of these websites, and set up a notification when the price drops!
Check the Ads
Most big retailers release ads with their biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings a few weeks early.
Whether you check them out in the newspaper or look at them online, these ads can be a huge help in showing you exactly where you can buy what you want and what price you’ll pay for it.
Cash Back Rewards
Cashback websites usually provide bonuses on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which you can stack on top of your existing savings.
If you’re shopping in person, check out Ibotta for deals on your in-store purchases.
Stick to Your List
It might be tempting to buy that ONE extra thing that wasn’t on your list while you’re out shopping- but avoid the temptation to overbuy and overspend!
If it’s not on the list, it’s not in your budget or your plan, and now isn’t the time to buy it.
IF you’ve completely finished your shopping AND you came in under budget, then consider buying that last item- but remember that’s money that you could have saved otherwise for future goals.
What’s your spending plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If you’ve survived the shopping holidays, did you stick to your budget?
Tell me all about it in the comments!
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