The Thanksgiving weekend is known for its turkey, its football, and its power over bank accounts. Home to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the weekend represents some of the busiest shopping days in the country. Shoppers who plant to switch out their turkey leg for their credit cards need to be careful that their search for the biggest deals doesn’t jeopardize their finances.
To make sure your cash lasts all holiday long, you need to make the most of these sales. This guide will help you take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday without putting your budget at risk. From online security tips to shopping strategies, this list arms you with the best ways to shop.
Go for seasonal items
Barring a few exceptions, the biggest deals involved this Thanksgiving will be on stores’ older stock. Though Best Buy won’t offer the new iPhone X on sale, they will have other smartphones discounted. The same rule applies to clothes. Fall and summer items are more likely to have larger sales than the latest winter wear. To find the best deals, learn the items that are most likely to receive the biggest price discounts. Stick to this area of the store when shopping to avoid the temptation of looking at full-priced items.
Remember it’s an endurance race, not a sprint
The Thanksgiving weekend is only just the start of a very long holiday season. The economists at Deloitte predicted consumers spent as much as $1.05 trillion between November and January of last year. Forecasts show that we’re on our way to surpassing these numbers this year, as the National Retail Federation expects spending to rise by 4.4% in 2018.
The NRF reported the average shopper spent $967 on gifts, decorations, and food last year — but remember, there’s also travel and other entertainment costs involved in the season. With these costs in your future, you can’t bust your budget on the Thanksgiving weekend and expect your finances to stay on track for the rest of the season.
With a timer counting down to the end of the sale on limited quantities, it’s easy to forget about the big picture. You’re so worried about snagging the deal before it disappears, you can forget how its cost fits in with the rest of your budget. Do this too many times, and you’ll spend more than you ever intended on these items. This may put your ability to pay for the rest of the season and your regular bills at risk.
Use a budget and other financial tools to help
As exciting as it can be to get something on your list for more than half off, you need to take a breather. Before you capitalize on the weekend’s low prices, you need to use a budget to figure out what you can afford during the holidays. This financial tool will help you avoid splurging on things you don’t need to celebrate, but it’s not foolproof.
A budget is a great organizational tool that can keep your spending on track, but don’t panic if you still go off the rails. You can look to your budget to find other areas of your life where you can cut out spending to save more. You might have to sacrifice somethings later in the season to balance out your spending in November.
This technique only works on spending within your control. For essential bills and repairs you can’t anticipate, you can’t ignore these costs to save your budget. A necessary furnace repair or winter tire replacement has to be done. When you don’t have savings, a fast-acting cash advance loan is a great way to cover these emergencies.
When you find them online, they work faster than conventional loans issued in-person at the bank. Online cash advances lack the same complexities that slow down traditional personal loans issued by the bank. Their automatic platform makes it possible for companies like MoneyKey to process applications 24/7. As a result, many of their customers receive online loans from MoneyKey as early as the next business day. This makes online loans ideal for those holiday emergencies when too many bills are due at once!
Apply the 37 Rule
For shoppers on a small budget, the Thanksgiving weekend is only worth shopping if you can find an amazing deal. But how can you ever be certain you’re getting one? The experts at Wallet Hub crunched the numbers and averaged the discounts offered by the 35 largest retailers offering Black Friday sales. They found discounts of 37% or more usually mean there are some significant deals worthy of your time.
Keep this number in mind when you’re researching where to shop on the Thanksgiving weekend. You’re more likely to find a deal worth buying when you follow the 37 Rule. The only exceptions? Big ticket items that never go on sale normally or are otherwise difficult to find.
The ultimate lesson is to use your judgement. With or without the 37 Rule, only you know if a deal is worth the cost in the long run. If you have plans to shop after giving thanks, make sure you’re ready to make these tough decisions. They’re a little easier to make when you have shopping tips and financial tools to help, so don’t go into Black Friday or Cyber Monday unprepared.