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Budgeting for Black Friday

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Written by Jessica Shelburne

Black Friday is just like an expensive marathon that starts in the middle of the night. Except that it’s much better than a marathon because minimal running is involved and you get to buy gifts for loved ones (or yourself). Just like runners train for a big race, shoppers can also formulate a plan for how to be successful on their important day. The following are ways to be financially mindful on this day of massive sales.

  1. Set a soft limit for how much you will spend. Doing so will prevent you from searching for the latest, greatest, and priciest items, and will allow wiggle room for unexpected costs.
  2. Find what you actually need to buy for yourself or someone else. Sure, the deals are great, but if there is no greater reason for buying something other than that it costs less today, then it’s just money out of your wallet. Look online and through catalogs to pick out what you or someone else could truly benefit from.
  3. Based on what you plan to purchase, set a hard limit to how much you will spend. Have someone else keep you accountable for your budget so the good deals will not overtake you. If you know exactly what you need to buy, then you should know almost exactly how much you need to spend. If you end up spending less than anticipated, don’t go looking to buy something simply because you have some extra room in your budget. This extra room will be helpful later.
  4. Know what stores you need to stop by from first to last. This could be in order of location, item/sale, whatever makes the store more or less important to visit. Do not stray from this plan because it will be close to impossible to say no to the sales in a store nearby.