What a nightmare this turned out to be. Standing in line after endless line, sleep-deprived, and temper burning. The approximate “budget” you set for your credit card debt is a distant memory. Worse yet, you missed by a minute getting the one item you most wanted. A minute! Lord have mercy! It’s Black Friday and your mood is blacker than the day. Will Cyber Monday be better? Not with your luck.
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Your luck” isn’t the problem. You made the mistake of leaving the house this morning without a Money Examiners approved strategy.
Our dos and don’t’s won’t rub your tired feet at the end of the day, but they will show you how to make Black Friday and Cyber Monday both productive and enjoyable. So, kick off your shoes and prepare to follow these guidelines.
Do pay using secure methods:
Cybercrime and bank fraud is a billion dollar game, and Black Friday is Opening Day. Leave the debit card behind and pay with cash or a credit card. Visa’s Zero Liability policy is golden, and your bank-issued card likely offers the same peace of mind should your number be compromised. Not to mention the points toward rewards that you’re racking up.
Don’t put an amount on your card that can’t be paid off by Jan. 30:
Ask yourself a question. Do you want to dig yourself out of the Christmas hole until the swallows come back to Capistrano? Certainly not! That’s when you are saving for that epic summer 2019 vacation.
Do write out a plan:
Research the retailers you plan to visit and the most time-economical order in which to hit them. Don’t forget the backup plan! Some items you want will sell out. Settle on Plans B and C before going into Store A.
Don’t be fooled by false benchmarking:
Retailers can see the bargain lust in your eyes. Some of them jack the “previous” price up before reducing it. This is false benchmarking, and major retailers have been fined billions for doing this illegal act. But, don’t believe it isn’t still happening.
Do calculate the time spent in line as real value.
If you are standing in the falling snow at midnight Thursday night waiting for the store to open at 6 am, those six hours mean something. How much do you get paid for six hours at work, not to mention the coffee and cookies in the break room there? (You love those caramel cookies, don’t you?) Remember that time and pay calculation next year when you try to save $30-40 on an appliance.
Don’t forget that Black Friday is a long day:
Perform self-care to minimize stress. Dress comfortably, and stay hydrated. Remember to eat, by packing a lunch of leftover turkey. All the savings in the world are wiped out by one visit from an EMT asking, “Do you know where you are?”
Don’t forget that Cyber Monday comes with a different set of deals and bargains:
Cyber Monday and Black Friday aren’t the same days 48 hours apart. Large appliances, big electronics, music, and books are great Black Friday buys. Toys, small appliances, and apparel. They get Cyber Monday’s heart started.
Money Examiners is glad you took the time to read this, but let’s take it a step further. Print it out and refer to it Friday morning just before you leave. Then, go downtown and make us proud!