Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be one of the most hectic and stressful times of the year because everyone wants the best deals and to save the most money on holiday gifts as well as things for themselves.
Well, we’re here to hopefully help you relieve some of that stress! That’s why we want to provide some tips on how to have a financially successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Plan. Too often, people show up to the stores either not sure of exactly what they want or not sure how much they can actually spend on items. Thus, it is best to plan exactly what you are hoping to buy and exactly how much you are going to spend. If you have a plan, you will avoid the urge to make impulse purchases. Set limits on your spending and create a budget for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. By doing so, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress!
- Store Credit Cards. You can bet that every time you arrive at the register you’re going to be asked if you want to save on your purchase by opening a store credit card. If you don’t have the funds to pay off said credit card, please don’t sign up for one. While it may save you a few bucks at the register, carrying a balance on the card is going to cost you a lot more than the 10% you saved by opening the account. According to creditcards.com, “Nearly half of retail-branded cards carry an APR of at least 25 percent. That’s much higher than 15.18 percent, the current national average rate for all credit cards.” In addition, applying for these store credit cards is the same as applying for a regular credit card. They can and most likely will hurt your credit score if you apply for multiple ones at the same time due to the hard inquiries that will be on your credit report! Therefore, if you do not already have the store credit card when you are shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it is best to simply forego it. You’ll end up saving your credit score and probably some money too.
- Visit the stores beforehand and do your homework. When Black Friday shopping, there’s nothing more frustrating than going to the store to look for an item you’re interested in and not being able to find it. This can cause some added stress on an already stressful evening (or morning). Thus, if you’re not familiar with the layout of the store already, it is best to go before the big day, find the areas with your items of interest and make a beeline for that area once you enter the store on Black Friday. In addition, if you plan on doing any shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you should be looking to see what the deals are going to be as early as possible. That way, you’ll be able to compare prices and find the store with the best deals. By doing your homework beforehand, you can better understand how much money you’re going to spend on your items of interest. But, remember, the point of creating a budget is sticking to that budget and not going over so that you can save some money. So, if there’s an item that puts you well over budget (like a TV, game console, etc.), it most likely just isn’t the right time for you to buy it.
- Stay safe when shopping online. As with any other day of the year, it is important to make sure that you are using safe online shopping practices. However, it is even more important when it is one of the largest online shopping days of the year, Cyber Monday. Make sure the URL has an “https://” or a lock icon, which both mean that the website is much safer than if it didn’t have those two items. If you’re using WiFi, make sure it is a secure connection. If you’re on a public WiFi, you should not be entering any personal information, such as your credit card information. One of the easiest things you can do is make your passwords more secure before Cyber Monday. When making a password, use an wide array of letters, numbers, and symbols, and, by doing so, you’ll better be able to protect your information. For more ways to stay safe, check out one of our previous blog posts here!
- Use apps and technology to your advantage. Just because it’s the holiday season, and there’s already a lot of great deals out there doesn’t mean that there aren’t some coupons or discount codes that you can use! Apps such as RetailMeNot and GeoQpons provide a wide range of coupons that you could use online or in-store and are definitely worth looking at before you complete your purchase. Raise gives you discounts on Gift Cards, which could definitely be useful during the holiday season. Groupon gives you coupons that you can only purchase online but can be used online or in-store. And, Honey is an online browser extension that automatically provides discount codes when you are about to complete your purchase. Thus, no matter how you prefer to shop, you could potentially get discount codes, deals on gift cards, or coupons in order to save some money while shopping.
Well shoppers, there you have it! We hope that this list of ideas will help you be less stressed during your holiday shopping! If you find any deals or you have any websites you live by, make sure to comment! And, as always, stay SAVVY!!