(Menomonee Falls, WI) Black Friday could have you seeing red if you’re among the mob of shoppers seeking deals during this one day shopping bonanza following Thanksgiving Day. Steve Kirst, branch manager of Citizens Bank – Menomonee Falls recommends having a strategy prepared for shopping.
“It’s easy for people to get caught up in the shopping frenzy and spend way more than they planned to or can afford,” said Kirst. In 2010, more than 22 million people* hit the stores the day after Thanksgiving Day. “Black Friday is a time when many shoppers get caught up in the sales and overspend. It’s important to have a plan in place before you go shopping so that you don’t overspend and have buyer’s remorse afterwards,” she explains.
That’s particularly important this year as the National Retail Federation estimates shoppers will spend nearly $466 billion** during the holiday shopping season, with a large portion of that spending happening on Black Friday.
To keep from breaking the budget, Kirst suggests some helpful tips including:
Set a budget and stick to it – Review your finances and determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts. You always want to make sure you have enough funds to still cover your regular monthly expenses.
Make a shopping list – Identify what presents you are thinking of buying and make sure they fit within your budget. Be sure to stick to the list when shopping.
Comparison shop – Retailers typically promote the sales in advance of Black Friday. Review store advertisements and do research online for the best prices. If you feel items are overpriced, wait a few days to see if the item goes on sale or look for an alternative gift.
Monitor your spending closely – As you buy items, be sure to check them off your shopping list as well as compare what you thought it would cost to what you actually paid. If the price is the same or less than what you estimated, then great. If it’s more than what you expected, either pass on the item or revise the rest of your spending accordingly.
Avoid impulse buys – One of the hardest things to do when shopping is avoiding the impulse buy, particularly when things are marked on sale. Stick to your shopping list. If you find a deal you just can’t pass up, then drop something of equal value off you list.
“Following these simple tips will help you have a happy and joyous holiday season,” Kirst said.
If you’re not sure what you can afford or how to determine an appropriate budget, it’s always a good idea to speak with a trusted banker who can help you determine a good budget for you.