I thought this was a nice article for budgeting and planning for the busiest shopping day of the year. Good points! Thank you Andrea 🙂
We’ve all heard crazy stories about people getting trampled and going crazy on Black Friday. But are the shopping deals even worth waking before the sun? That really depends on what exactly you’re looking for and how organized you can be. Black Friday is a day designed for the sole purpose of consumerism. The name itself refers to the fact that historically on this single day retailers would go from spending more than they earn (red) to making profits (black). But the most ridiculous day for consumerism can score you some unheard of deals if only you know what to look for and how to go about shopping. If you wake up with a plan things will not seem remotely as stressful as they would otherwise.
Before even thinking about looking at Black Friday ads, make a budget. Discuss with your spouse (if applicable) and agree on a reasonable and practical budget. And no matter what you may find while out and about shopping, stick to your predetermined budget. Do not pick up something just because you can. There’s no sense in getting a ‘great deal’ if you have to go into debt to purchase it. And just because you have a specific number doesn’t mean you have to spend that much money. It is simply a number to keep in mind, a railing to keep you where you should be financially.
Make a list of gifts or items you are looking to buy. If you have specific products you need, it will make shopping much easier. Retailers often post their Black Friday ads online beforehand, and those that don’t post one often end up with a leaked version somewhere anyway. Or you can wait until a local paper comes out with the ads in it. Browse each ad and write down the items you are looking for and their prices. Different stores may have the same, or very similar, items. So be sure to look closely to find the best deal possible. Keep in mind the long wait standing in line while you are planning, and try to get the most shopping you can get done at the fewest number of stores.
Once you know what items you are after, it’s time to make a game plan. Start with the store that opens the earliest and work your way through the stores that way. If several retailers open at the same time, choose the one that has items most important to you. Also take into consideration the popularity of various stores and products. Big name stores are going to be crawling with people, meaning they will run out of hot items faster. Make sure you bring your written list of items and keep a copy of the advertisement with you if you can. You may have trouble finding a specific item and need to ask for help. You’ll make the lives of busy customer service reps, and your own, much easier.
When it comes to Black Friday, bring a friend with you if you can. The lines will be long and there’s no use in being grouchy about having to wait. Have someone with you to chat and make the experience fun, instead of one that’s dreaded. After all, you chose to wake up ridiculously early and go shopping. So create a new tradition with a good friend and go shopping together, scoring Black Friday deals each year. And follow up your shopping trip with a cup of coffee or big breakfast shared together. The lack of sleep will be worth it for the time shared and memories created with one another.
About The Author
Andrea Boley is a writer and blogger with