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Saving Money on Black Friday: A Different Approach

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Career & Money

Saving Money on Black Friday: A Different Approach

Thanksgiving is here, and after feasting on delicious food, the next thing on the agenda is preparing for Black Friday!

In the past, my family and I used to rise early on Black Friday, endure the cold outside, and queue up until the doors opened to one of the year’s biggest sales. We would then split up within the store and conquer the deals separately. Afterward, we’d reconvene at the store’s front to assess our purchases before heading to the checkout. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that in some years, we ended up needing more than one shopping cart to transport all the gifts we “needed” to buy.

This year, however, we’ve decided against heading to the stores like in previous years. Instead, we plan to shop from the comfort of our homes, in our pajamas, with a steaming mug of coffee nearby.

As I have grown older and started my own family, Black Friday holds a different significance for me. Over time, my perspective shifted from focusing solely on buying gifts to prioritizing experiences, creating memories, and spending quality time with family. With this in mind, this year when Black Friday arrives, I intend to be more deliberate in my purchases.

If you are also looking to approach Black Friday differently, I encourage you to join me in establishing a new tradition. Set an intention for one of the most significant shopping days of the year and proceed with a plan. Here are five steps to follow before taking advantage of the sales.

1. Establish a budget

Imagine reaching the checkout page and being taken aback by a three-digit figure on the screen. Setting a spending limit before you even virtually enter the store can help avoid such surprises. I advise thoroughly evaluating your finances rather than randomly selecting a number. How much are you comfortable spending on gifts this year? Who do you need to purchase gifts for? What would be the ideal price for each gift? Having clear answers to these questions before you start shopping will guide you in identifying suitable deals, recognizing better offers on specific items, and knowing when you are nearing your spending limit.

2. Inquire about desired gifts

Do people still create holiday wishlists, or is it just my family? While searching for the perfect gift can be enjoyable, having a few suggestions handy can be beneficial. Take a moment to reach out via email or text and ask your friends and family to provide a few gift ideas they would like this year. This initiative will save you time and energy. Moreover, armed with a list, you are more likely to adhere to the budget you have set for yourself, as you already know the cost of the items.

3. Research the deals in advance

Previously, Black Friday deals remained undisclosed until the big day. Nowadays, you can preview the upcoming sales weeks in advance. Seize this change in tradition and review the deals before commencing your holiday shopping. This is especially crucial when shopping for electronics, as you would want to identify where to find the exact items you need and at what price. (Remember the spending limit!) Not only will you feel better prepared, but many stores also offer price matching, so ensuring you are getting the best possible deal for all your purchases is essential.

4. Compare prices

On the subject of price comparisons, take note of the varying prices for specific items. While many stores price their products similarly, Black Friday usually brings a surplus of coupons and discounts. You can install a browser extension like Honey to automatically search for online coupon or discount codes. If you are part of a local mom’s group on Facebook, you can initiate a post dedicated to sharing discount codes for popular retailers, benefiting everyone!

5. Opt for an experience over a traditional gift

As mentioned earlier, the holidays have evolved to emphasize creating enduring memories rather than accumulating an excess of sweaters, gadgets, and technology. A delightful way to enrich your holiday tradition is by gifting virtual experiences. Platforms like MasterClass offer online courses in painting, writing, filmmaking, and other creative pursuits taught by experts. You can also gift subscriptions for home workout programs, monthly flower or plant deliveries, book-of-the-month packages, children’s magazine subscriptions, museum memberships, and more.

Black Friday does not have to exceed your budget or lead you into debt. As cliché as it may sound, and even with a few gifts, the holidays are truly about creating memories.

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