How to Beat the Black Friday Budget Blues
If you plan to skip Thanksgiving dinner this year in order to get to Black Friday sales, you may not be alone. According to a survey by promocodes.com, 32 million Americans who have ever shopped Black Friday have reported skipping Thanksgiving dinner, rushing through it or starting early, or not traveling to a relative's house in order to participate in Black Friday sales. But is this really necessary?
Before you ditch the fam to head out to the sales, here are some tricks to navigate your holiday shopping. Hitting the sales can quickly trigger your impulse purchase mentality, so keep these tips in mind before you start shopping.
1. Do remember that Black Friday isn't just one day anymore. More and more retailers are announcing that they will be opening on Thanksgiving day, and Cyber Monday sales online are exceeding Black Friday online sales. The most important thing is to do your research up front for what you need to buy; and then you can track the deals throughout the entire weekend.
2. Do use coupon sites to find additional savings. Anytime you're shopping online, you should look for a promotional code to save. Sites like promocodes.com pull together all the special deals and offers, and have special sections for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Before you buy, check these sites to find the best savings.
3. Do buy discounted gift cards now for the merchants you plan to shop. Aggregator gift card resale sites allow you to buy gift cards at a variety of merchants such as Macy's, Walmart. For those who know where they plan to do their Black Friday shopping, purchase discounted gift cards in advance and use them as currency.
4. Don't buy anything you need to finance with a credit card. Consumer credit card debt from October to December of last year increased by 20.7 billion. Even if there's a sale, you're not saving money if you end up paying credit card interest rates. Plan your budget in advance before you get carried away with spending.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for a price adjustment. When you're shopping sales and specials, check the return policy before you buy. But if the store will accept the product as a return, you can always buy at the sale price you see; and if you find it for less elsewhere, either ask for a price adjustment; or return the item at your original place of purchase and buy the item at the better deal rate.
6. Don't forget to check your smartphone when shopping in-stores. By actually going to brick and mortar stores on Black Friday you have an opportunity to see the goods in person. If you’re unsure which laptop to pick, you can actually test it out in stores and see which you like better. Likewise, if you’re shopping for clothes for yourself, you can actually try them on and you might even talk yourself out of it if the fit isn’t right. Plus, some people enjoy the outing with friends and loved ones to hunt for the best deals in the land. But there might be a better deal online.