Don’t Let Black Friday Ruin Your Finances!

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It’s a nation-wide, post-Thanksgiving tradition – stores entice you through their doors with a few phenomenal deals, hoping you’ll do even more of your holiday spending with them. It’s called Black Friday because retailers make enough to get out of the red. But don’t let this annual shopping frenzy transfer the red to your own family budget!Check out these tips to help keep your inner spendthrift from taking over:Make a budget and stick to it.Sounds simple, but really have a list of how much you want to spend per person. And really follow it. This will keep compulsion from ruling your head.
Do your homework. Be sure you’re getting the best deal by using a variety of resources (newspaper ads and the Internet) to check competitors.
Beware the “limited quantities” ploy.There are no rules that govern how many products the store must have available for promotional sales, so those hot items that enticed you into the store may not even be there.
Stay home.Black Friday is crowded and uncomfortable, and while the advertised specials may seem too good to resist, the truth is some of the hottest deals can be had either online or right after the big day. You can still make Christmas day special by having things to open in the morning, and then “discover” later that Santa left an extra present in the garage (probably wouldn’t fit down the chimney).
Pledge to have a bar-code-free Christmas. Maybe this is the year to invest your cash in your community by shopping at local artist markets. You’d not only be saving money, but you’d also be helping your local economy – and giving a gift that’s one-of-a-kind. Most cities have craft and artists markets with a seasonal theme, or you may just want to check your local farmers market for bounty such as local honey or homemade pies.Don’t forget that the spirit of the season is about giving and spending time with family, not going into debt! Don’t add more stress to this busy season by spreading your budget too thin. Sometimes giving something simple, like homemade cookies, can mean just as much as a trendy gadget.

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