Are you planning on doing any Black Friday shopping? It’s definitely hard to avoid all the advertising coming at you from every direction. The pandemic has definitely driven a lot of the sales back online. But what are the best Black Friday deals?
Check Prices Now
A lot of stores are starting their Black Friday deals the Monday before Thanksgiving. So check out prices now to make sure that you’re actually getting a deal when the new prices are announced. And if something looks like it’s already priced high, that’s definitely a time to be suspicious. Is that deal really a deal you can only get now?
Don’t Get Sucked In
For me, the biggest tip I have is “Do I really need/want this?” Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s actually a deal for me. If it’s not something I would otherwise buy, or if I’m just considering buying it because it’s discounted, then it’s probably not worth it. Now, I’m all about watching for sales on things I’ve been considering buying or on things that I use regularly. I did a big wardrobe cleanout recently and could use a few new pieces for work. I’m keeping my eye out for discounts for Black Friday, but I’m not going to buy something unless it’s really what I’m looking for.
Be Wary of Doorbusters
While this is becoming less common, a lot of stores will have what they call Doorbusters – items that are on deep discount but there are a very limited number. A lot of times, these are electronics – tvs and the like. While these can be at a deep discount, it turns out that these are frequently versions of the item designed specifically for these doorbuster sales. You won’t find them around at other times of the year and they may not have all the features that a typical item would have. Does that mean you shouldn’t buy it? Not necessarily, but it’s not the crazy deal they’re making it out to be.
Make a List
My biggest tip for Black Friday shopping is to make a list of things you would like to buy – Christmas gifts, items for your home, things along those lines. Set yourself a shopping budget. Then check out the sales. Do some web searches before you buy. Be wary of extremely limited time offers or limited quantities unless you’re very aware of the product and historical prices.
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.