How to avoid overspending on Black Friday

Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season for most people. While you can score some great deals during your shopping trip, you also may run the risk of going way over budget.

Follow these tips to avoid overspending on Black Friday (and for the rest of your holiday shopping).

First, answer this question: What are the best deals on Black Friday?

Decide what you’ll buy and which stores you’ll visit before you go shopping. Monitor the prices on your shopping list in the weeks and days leading up to Black Friday – we’ve all heard of retailers increasing prices right before a sale, so you’ll want to be sure you’re really getting the best deal. Prioritizing your purchases will also help you avoid impulse decisions, and ultimately stay on budget.

Make sure you fully understand the return policy

On that note, you can’t always avoid impulse purchases, especially when you’re shopping in crowds. A good rule to follow is to only buy things that you know can be returned. That way, if you buy something you really didn’t need or want, you won’t have any problems getting your money back.

Pay with cash

Because you already planned your purchases, you’ll know how much you’re looking to spend. Leave your credit card at home for the day, bringing enough cash for what you know you want to buy (and maybe a bit extra). It’s a lot easier to spend more than anticipated when paying with credit or debit. Once your cash runs out, it’s time to head home.

Do your shopping online

Avoid the crowds and do your shopping online instead. You could wait until Cyber Monday rolls around, but more and more companies are offering online deals on Black Friday as well. It’s easier to compare prices when shopping online, helping you score the best deals. Plus you won’t have to drive around town all day, saving you money on gas.

If you’re planning on making purchases online, make sure you check out our tips for preventing cyber fraud.

Follow your favourite stores on social media and sign up for their newsletters

Many stores will communicate their best deals and sales through their social media and newsletters. So, follow your favourite stores in the weeks leading up to Black Friday to take full advantage of special offers, coupons and more.

Shop with a friend to keep each other accountable

Bring along a friend to help you avoid impulse decisions. Pair up with someone who’s also trying to stick to their Black Friday budget. You’ll be less likely to overspend if someone is there to help keep you accountable.

Avoid buying holiday décor

It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays on Black Friday. Many retail stores are banking on the fact that you’ll make impulse purchases, which often includes holiday décor. If you can wait, the best time to buy décor is closer to December 25 when stores will start to reduce their prices. Even better, wait until after the holidays to buy décor on sale and have it ready for next year.

Lastly, always remember what the holidays are really about. While it’s nice to exchange gifts with family and friends, don’t go overboard with your spending. Instead, appreciate the time you get to spend with the people you care about.

If you follow these tips and still end up going over budget, make a plan to get back on track. If you racked up some debt from your holiday shopping you may want to consider consolidating your bills with a debt consolidation loan, and starting 2019 off on fresh financial ground.