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6 Tips to Take Control of Black Friday Spending

Friday Nov 18, 2016

With Thanksgiving just a week away comes the always trending Black Friday. This shopper's dream can be a great day for your finances or it can set you back tremendously.

The direction you go is all up to you and how well you control your emotions on this day. You can come out as a financial winner, gaining all of what you need at deeply discounted prices or a financial loser, getting deeply in debt and spending all of 2017 paying for your deals.

Ash Exantus, Financial Empowerment Coach at BankMobile, offers these six helpful tips.

1. Make sure you can afford it.
There are many people who are living paycheck to paycheck who can't afford to pay their basic necessities comfortably but still figure out a way to go shopping on Black Friday. Don't! Make sure that if you are going shopping on Black Friday that you are not behind on any bills and you are not using your credit cards to finance your splurging.

2. Have a plan. (Use a list.)
Now that you know that you can afford to spend on Black Friday it is important that you go in with a plan of what you are going to buy. What do you need? What do you really want? Write them down so you know what you are aiming for.

Black Friday will have many deals including that 75 percent off of _______________ (insert the name of something you'll probably never use) but the key is to stick to your list because any money spent on something you didn't really want or need becomes money wasted no matter how much you think you're saving.

3. Set a hard budget.
Before you even begin shopping figure out a set amount that you can spend and stick to that amount no matter what... no if, and's or buts! Setting a budget will allow you to not go into debt on Black Friday

4. Use cash!
Similar to how the envelope system helped many people stick to budgets in the past, using cash for your Black Friday shopping will assure that you keep a tab on your spending and not go over.

5. Leave your credit and debit cards home.
As mentioned in Tip One, you have to make sure you can afford what you are spending on Black Friday, but despite your preparation there will be many tempting deals that may cause you to go temporarily insane and with access to money at your fingertips that can be a dangerous blow to your finances. Keeping your cards at home removes the ability to fold to temptations

6. Control your emotions.
Shopping, especially on Black Friday is psychological warfare! You are literally in a battle between you and your pockets vs. retailers and marketers. The reason why Black Friday is called Black Friday is because this is the day consumers (you) help retailers (them) get in the "black," which in accountant terms means profitable. See they aren't even hiding the fact that they are using you for their gain. And the reason they don't have to hide it is because they get you to buy by appealing to your emotions. They know that many can't resist deep discounts that's why you must be psychologically ready to say no and close a blind eye to what is not on your list, what you can't afford, and what you can't buy with cash!

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