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CCC-Stories: Black Friday Budget Blues

Thanksgiving is a lot of people’s favorite holiday, but it may be due to the days that surround it. One of those days is Black Friday. If unfamiliar, this day is known for retailers having extremely good deals on the products and services they offer. Whether it’s a conspiracy theory as some may believe, or if it’s a real thing, you need to adjust your budget accordingly, especially if you will be partaking in the shopping.

If your budget is not appropriately set up, you can end up with budget blues and not have enough money to get you through the end of the month. This is where this month’s story comes in! I want to share my experience of not only wanting to shop on Black Friday, but also of over shopping and burning through my budget. I have family that live out of the country and they travel to the U.S. for Black Friday specifically, as they believe they get a good bargain on their shopping and are able to complete their Christmas shopping at the same time! Since we sometimes go a couple of years without seeing one another, one year I tagged along. This was when I realized that my budget couldn’t keep up with theirs! I was unaware that they built a yearly budget designated for this one day! I, on the other hand, spent all of my money with none of the proper planning that my family had put in place.

The remainder of that month, my budget had the blues as it was completely empty and left me with no funds to spend on items I had actually included in my planned budget. I also had no money remaining until my next paycheck.

To help YOU avoid this situation, here’s a quick spending guide to help you make the most of your Black Friday shopping:

  • Set a Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend before you start shopping.
    (This will help you prioritize your purchases and avoid overspending.)
  • Make a Shopping List: Identify the items you really need or have been planning to buy.
    (Focus on essential purchases to get the most value from your spending.)
  • Research Deals in Advance: Check online and offline retailers in advance to compare prices and find the best deals. Look for advertisements, promotional emails, and browse websites to identify where you can get the most savings.
  • Prioritize High-Cost Items: If you have big-ticket items on your list, prioritize those first.
    (These are the items where you’re likely to see the most significant savings.)
  • Use Price Tracking Tools: Take advantage of price-tracking tools and websites to monitor the historical prices of the items you’re interested in.
    (This will help you ensure that the Black Friday ‘deal’ is genuinely a good discount.)
  • Consider Online and In-Store Options: Black Friday deals are available both online and in physical stores. Evaluate the pros and cons of each option based on your preferences and the nature of the items you’re purchasing.
  • Be Mindful of Impulse Buys: Stick to your shopping list to avoid impulse purchases. (Retailers often use attractive deals to encourage additional spending, so be disciplined about what you buy.)
  • Check Return Policies: Before making a purchase, be aware of the return policies of the store. (This is important in case you change your mind or encounter issues with the product.)
  • Stay Safe Online: If you’re shopping online, make sure to use secure websites. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and use secure payment methods.
  • Plan for Cyber Monday: While Black Friday is known for in-store deals, Cyber Monday follows with online discounts. If you miss out on anything during Black Friday, consider waiting for Cyber Monday for potential online savings.

Remember, the key to a successful Black Friday shopping experience is planning and staying within your budget. Enjoy the deals, but also make sure you’re making purchases that align with your needs and financial goals.

Happy Holiday Shopping!