These days, Thanksgiving seems like a two-part holiday. There’s the part where we give thanks for all the good in our lives and happily spend the day with family and friends enjoying a grandiose meal that leaves us more stuffed than the turkey.
Then there’s the preparation for Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. If you dare enter the battlefield in search of deals this year, you must be prepared. Here are a couple of tips that you and your wallet will be thankful for.
Build Your Budget
Expenses add up quickly during the holidays. Before shopping, build your holiday spending plan. Creating a saving and spending plan will help you stay on track. If you know there’s room in your budget to purchase few gifts now is a good time to look for savings.
Remember to charge only what you can afford to pay in full if using a credit card. Your deal won’t be much of a deal if you have to pay interest on it down the road.
Do Your Research
Take your time when reviewing options. You may find that older models or models with fewer features are less expensive. If you’re looking for quality over price, it may not be in your best interest to buy an item you will replace in the near future.
Determine what’s important to you and use that as a guide.
Read the Fine Print
Be sure to read the fine print while researching. Are there limited quantities on big ticket items? Do the savings include a mail-in rebate? How does the sale price compare to the current price not the original price? Be alert because discounts may be overstated and advertisements may be misleading.
Put Together a Plan
Where will you go? What will you purchase at each store? Will you take more than one person to divide and conquer? Sort it all out and prepare. Charge your cell phone. Bring snacks. Most importantly, stay focused. Stick to your list and don’t deviate. If you didn’t think of something before you probably don’t need it, so stick to the plan.
Trying to get the most for you dollar is not just something you do on Black Friday. Use apps like ShopSavvy, BuyVia, and Flipp to get the best deals at all times. Before you buy, search or scan a bar code to get a list of the competitor’s prices.
Watch items, receive alerts when prices drop, and find coupons. You may be able to avoid the long lines while securing some great finds in the comfort of your home.
Watch Out for Potential Scams
Not everything is sinister, but being extra cautious never hurt anyone. When shopping on unfamiliar sites, double check that it’s reputable and isn’t going to steal your personal information. If you do purchase something, keep an eye on your statements for fraudulent charges (and also to hold yourself accountable for your spending).