Who's going out in the crazy lines this Friday for some CrAzY savings? I'm down for a good deal and saving money everyday of the week/month/year but within some boundaries. Make sure before you go out to spend lots of money on those holiday gifts review a few of these thoughts:
1) Use the money you've saved for holiday presents - Ideally, you want to have a set amount of money already saved up to spend on that day/weekend. This is your budget that you don't want to go over. If you don't have some kind of budget or goal in mind you're going to start spending like crazy. People like to focus on the amount they are saving, whether that's in dollar signs or percentages off and then rarely notice how much they are actually spending. Don't fall into the "I saved XXXX, how could I say no?" trap.
2) Create a budget - If you don't already have your holiday budget saved up, make sure to set a budget for what you want to spend. Remember that all those sales that you put on your credit card will quickly accumulate interest fees. The less you can put on the credit card the better. Just because you saved 50% on the tag price, doesn't mean that you'll be paying only 50% of the tag price when you factor in the interest rate you have to pay for throughout this coming year.
3) Figure out what's important to you - A lot of stores are not only opening at midnight Friday morning but even Thanksgiving day. Depending on how often you see your family and what you do this may be the only time each year to spend time with them. Is saving money on a TV from Santa more important than spending time your family members? Don't just think of the short term importance of spending time with the family, but what are your long term goals. If you want to go on that vacation next year or invest in your kids' college fund, is going out to save money this weekend going to help save for that goal? If it's not helping you achieve your goals, is it worth going out?
4) Set the right example - If you enjoy going shopping and like to make it a family affair, what example are you creating? Do you vocalize your limits and expectations? Are you the one where if you see it, you love, you buy it, you charge it, and pay for it later? If you make shopping a family affair, make sure to set boundaries and communicate them regularly before, during and after the shopping. Communicating the expectations so often will help land good habits in everyone's mind. Don't just charge it to the card, if you have kids it's hard for them to wrap their head around money they don't see. The more expectations you create around money for your kids, the easier it can create a healthy financial lifestyle for not only your kids but yourself.
Though everyone likes to save money, make sure not to get wrapped up on how much you're saving but focus on what you're spending. Make sure to balance your wants/needs and what your overall life goals are.
If you have a Black Friday success story I would love to hear it. Please comment below if you have stories of self control, great deals that helped you achieve your goals, or setting the right expectations for your family.