Unfortunately, participating in Black Friday in-store can be dangerous. Since 2006, there have been 117 reported injuries during the popular shopping event, including overzealous bargainers elbowing their way through lines of shoppers and wayward shopping carts bumping into unsuspecting customers. And though it doesn’t cause physical pain, some consumers completely overspend and blow their budgets on this commercialized holiday, causing financial strain for months to come.
Instead of risking injury over the newest Shark vacuum cleaner or facing too many temptations to swipe your credit card, you can stay home, create a shopping strategy for the budget you have and the things you need, and easily add items to your virtual cart, all while enjoying a plate of piled-high leftovers in your favorite stretchy pajamas.
SET A BUDGET + STICK TO IT
Whether you plan to spend $75 or $4,000 during Black Friday, be sure you can afford the items you plan to buy. Choose the amount you want to spend and, if it’s helpful to you, set it aside in a separate account so you aren’t tempted to squander it elsewhere. As you work up your budget, be sure to browse your favorite online brands to compare discounts and deals so you can get the most bang for your buck.
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED
Some consumers use Black Friday to stock up on non-perishable essentials, like diapers or toilet paper, while others pick out non-essential household items like super-sized flat-screen televisions. Think ahead to holiday gifting, too, and see if there are any items on your shopping list that may be discounted during Black Friday. (Remember the Nerf Fortnite RI Blaster your son has been begging for? It may be on sale!) It’s easy to be dazzled by new electronics or shiny appliances at steep discounts, but if you purchase something you weren’t originally planning to buy in the first place, you’re still overspending.
SIGN UP FOR RETAILER EMAILS + DOWNLOAD RETAILER APPS
Your daily newspaper will still be stuffed with weekly ads and coupons from big-box retailers come Thanksgiving Day, but subscribing to emails and downloading apps from your favorite brands ahead of time may help you score early sale previews, special discounts, and coupon codes you can’t find anywhere else. Many stores use emails, apps, and social media to share exclusive deals, so be sure to subscribe to store emails and follow your favorite retailers.
If you stick to your budget, don’t purchase extra items that weren’t on the list, and don’t scarf down too much pecan pie and mulled wine, you - and your wallet - should get out of Black Friday unscathed. Happy shopping and happy saving!