It’s hard to resist the lure of deep discounts on Black Friday. After all, that kind of money is rare, if not nonexistent, in most people’s day-to-day lives. But with this year’s Black Friday falling on Nov. 24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday, shoppers will have even less time to spend their cash than usual. Here are four tips to help control your spending:
1. Set a budget before you go shopping. You might think it’s not possible to stay within a budget when there are so many tempting deals to be found, but experts say it’s essential to set yourself up for success by knowing how much you can afford to spend beforehand. If you already know what you want and how much it costs, you’re less likely to spend more than you want on impulse buys.
2. Be honest with yourself about what is important to you when it comes to getting a good deal. If the only thing that matters is saving money, then don’t buy anything at all until Black Friday rolls around unless it fits into your budgeted amount for the season. But if you’re willing to pay more in order to get something immediately or make sure you get exactly what you want, be sure you understand that trade-off before heading out the door.
3. Avoid credit card debt: If possible, pay with cash or debit cards so there’s no chance of overspending. If you do use credit cards, create a separate savings account for unexpected expenses so you can pay off your credit card bills in full every month.
4. Know what you want. Make a list before you start shopping. It will help you stick to the items that are most important to you and avoid wandering around stores aimlessly. If there are specific brands or styles you prefer, make sure they are on your list, too. This will prevent you from buying what’s available at the moment instead of what’s most important to you.