A Pep Talk Before Black Friday

November 23, 2016

The cheerfulness is right in the name there, isn't it? You get through your day of turkey & holiday peace, and then... doomsday!

But, stampedes and nonsense aside, we all know that Friday (through Monday, often) is the time to shop. Christmas is coming, and we are all just trying to stretch our dollars as far as we can. I am certainly not above special event & sales shopping, personally, or (as you can read below) as a retailer.

How can we be smart about getting the good deals, and maximizing our budgets, without going totally overboard? It is soooo easy to get swept up in the excitement and one-time-only and fun of it all; it is very easy to still overspend, because we buy all kinds of extra things that were too good to pass up.

I wrote a guide earlier this year that is essential Shop Good: it's how to shop smarter, spend better, avoid buyer's remorse, and really to be able to shop with confidence & with the satisfaction of money well spent. Here are a few principles straight from it that can really help direct your shopping next weekend (and throughout the holidays):

  • Make a List.

This week, spend a bit of time going over what you might be looking for over the weekend. Decor? Gifts for your brother, mom, daughter? Scope out the stores or sites that you might want to buy from and plan out a list. When we are without a plan in the heat of the moment, marketing pressure (such as a countdown timer) will most often encourage us to buy-not-think.

Writing a list is the #1 way to save money this year. Even simply being aware of things like — 1) who/what you need to buy for, 2) what funds are available/desirable for that purpose, 3) where are the places and what are the items that might fit the bill — will make an enormous difference in how satisfied you will feel that you've made the best purchases for your money.

  • Do some research.

No, ​we're not in college and nobody needs to present their findings. But, even a little minor looking around will go a long way. Who is having a sale? How long will it go on? Can I buy X thing somewhere else? What is the fine print? If I miss out on the sale, what is the difference between what I will pay (or not receive) down the line?

  • Slow down.

It is so easy to become panicked about missing out! But, even within the day or weekend of a sale, we can take a little time. Fill a cart in the morning and then go get a coffee and think about it, or return to the site later in the day. Or, if you've spent the week list-making & researching, then buy away! 

Happy (Good) Shopping!


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