Five Steps to Surviving Black Friday in the Black
How can you get through the day while keeping your budget in the black?
The Friday after Thanksgiving is going to have some screaming shopping deals. How can you get through the day keeping your budget in the black?
Here are five steps:
- First of all, you can afford to buy more presents if you leave yourself off your Christmas list. How lame is it to spend your gift giving money on yourself?
- Follow Santa’s example by making a list and checking it twice. There are a number of Christmas list apps that you can use to track your spending. Among the most popular are The Christmas List, Santa’s Bag, Christmas Gift List, and Gift Planner. Most are free or under $1.
These apps can help you decide how much you are going to spend on each person on your list. Once you have everyone added, you will see how much you need to budget or cut back so that you have enough funds without overspending. You will be able to track whose gift is bought and who still needs a present. You will be able to divide gifts by store and share the list with your partner, who may also be shopping for the same people.
- Leave the credit card home if you think you will spend more than you have in your holiday budget. Better safe than sorry. You debit card works just as well and you will only spend money you have in your checking account. Just make sure you don’t spend next month’s rent money. Those with Zions Bank Visa® debit cards can sign for their purchases and earn cash back rewards from select merchants. Learn more here.
- Get a coupon organizer and either split up the amount you plan to spend on each gift recipient or if you shop with a debit card, include an index card to keep track of each person.
- When in doubt, consider buying gift cards. Money Magazine reported that only 25 percent of Americans liked the gifts they received for Christmas, but 37 percent wanted a gift card. You may be able to pick up all of these gifts in a single visit to a gift card kiosk, or even order them online. Less time spent is a store means a less chance to overspend on other stuff you didn’t plan to buy.
Always stay under your gift budget for each person. Here is the cool part — put the money you don’t spend on each gift back into savings; it could be a good way to save up for Black Friday 2018.