FRIDAY FINANCE TIP: HOLIDAY SHOPPING
The picture above may cause a little anxiety, but let's be honest, it causes excitement too (at least for me!). And in sparks the feeling that if you aren't there you are missing out on something. That something being a great deal. And that great deal may be something that you didn't even intend on buying in the first place, but since it is on a super sale, you have to have it!
I'm guilty of these feelings too and over the years I've used the philosophy when things like this come up - that if you're still thinking about it in 24 hours (and you don't have to take out a second mortgage), then it maybe it's meant to be.
Here are a few of my tips for surviving Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping in general.
Make a budget
Boring.....but, at least make a list of the range that you are willing to spend on everyone. If you end up in the store and find the perfect set of $300 gloves for your best friend, you will be more likely to keep looking since you set an original budget for her of $50.
Make sure there is a good return policy
In case you get caught up in the deal mayhem that begins after Thanksgiving and blowing your budget on Black Friday, there should always be the option to return (if you haven't used it, of course!).
Several years ago, my friends and I waited outside of an outlet handbag store that opened at midnight on Black Friday. I ended up buying THREE bags of a brand that I don't even really like. I got caught up in the excitement, time with friends and holiday deals. Needless to say, I returned all three of them a week later. Thank goodness for that return policy.
Buy yourself something
Shopping isn't as fun if you don't get something for yourself, right? Treat yourself even if it's an extra large holiday coffee drink, grabbing lunch with a friend, or buying a holiday scented candle for your home.
Shop around if you can
Except for some high end luxury goods, you should usually be able to get a discount on something - even if it's only 5-10%. Sign-up for emails and you'll get notifications or discount codes emailed to you. If you use a website like Ebates, you may even get another discount! For example, if you went to the Nordstrom site through Ebates today, you received another 10% off!
Remember your goals
Remember why you made a budget in the first place. Do you want to be paying off December shopping for all of 2015? Are you putting money away monthly for a vacation, student loans or a new home. Focus on your long term goals and if you really need it. Really, we are all happy with a little less it's just comparison that gets to us.
Happy shopping and happy holidays!