Preparing for Black Friday

Black Friday can be a double edged sword- it can help consumers save money on holiday purchases. However, Black Friday can also cause consumers to blow their budgets, and buy items they cannot afford. Here are some tips for staying within your budget on Black Friday:

  1. Make a list Make a list of items you have had your eye on that you have been waiting to buy, or items that you would like to buy as gifts. Your kids can also make a list prior to Black Friday. If your kids give you a list before Black Friday, you will have time to comparison shop and get the best deals on items. Having a list of items you would like to purchase can also help you stay within your budget- for example, if you budget $300 to spend on Black Friday, and all of your listed items add up to $500 even with the best sales, you will have to prioritize the items that you really want to purchase, and items you are willing to wait for.
  2. Comparison shop: After you have made a list of the items you would like to purchase, write down the price as you comparison shop. When you see a better price, write down that price and where it came from. Comparison shopping can be done in many ways: online, in-store, Black Friday apps, and from Black Friday newspaper ads, etc.
  3. Always stay in budget! Black Friday is filled with temptation to spend, spend, spend. Staying within a budget will help you prioritize what you want most, and help you stay on track to reach your financial goals. Budgeting methods that can be especially helpful to use on black Friday include the cash envelope method, and checkbook register method. These two budgeting methods allow you to immediately see the effects of your purchases.
  4. If you are tempted to sign up for a store credit card, read the fine print. All credit card applications are required to have a Schumer box. This is a box that contains clearly stated information about terms of the credit card. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR), penalty APR, minimum interest charge, annual fee, and transaction fees will be listed in the Schumer box. Remember: never sign up for a credit card unless you have a plan to pay it off in full.
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