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How to Have a Pleasant Black Friday Experience

Black FridayThanksgiving is quickly approaching and we all know what happens the very next day: Black Friday!

In recent years Black Friday has almost become a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving. Just hours after eating tons of food and saying how thankful we are for everything in our lives, we rush right out to buy more “stuff” …cough cough crap…cough cough for friends and family (and usually ourselves too) at Black Friday.

Big door-buster events start earlier every year, with many stores beginning Black Friday on the evening of Thanksgiving. With Black Friday coming up in just a few days, I want to share the biggest tip I know on how to have a pleasant Black Friday experience:

STAY HOME!

No, that’s not a joke. The easiest way to have a fun and enjoyable Black Friday is to stay home, avoid the cranky masses, and the huge amounts of time wasted waiting in lines to “save” a few dollars. (Editor’s note: I can’t agree more with the sentiment to stay home. Instead, stay home and sleep in. You can do all the same shopping on Amazon later in the day if you must and likely for cheaper.)

But if you must partake in some post-Thanksgiving retail therapy, here are a couple of things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable.

Plan Ahead

Review stores’ ads to find the top two or three things that are “must-haves” for you and your shopping companions. Determine what time each of these things will become available, lots of stores stagger the big ticket items’ availability times.

For example, TVs the size of your house may be available at 10 p.m. and the latest Apple product will be available at a different time, like midnight. This tactic ensures that shoppers stay in one store and spend the majority of their shopping money in one location. Before you fall victim to this tactic, find out if different stores will have the same products for less or if they are willing to price-match.

Set a Budget For Your Black Friday Shopping

When I last participated in Black Friday, I took cash with me and left all my plastic at home. This ensured that I didn’t go over my spending budget or give in to any of the impulse purchases waiting at every turn.

Stores are often set up to make you walk past all the little stuff to get to the best “deals” at the back of the store. This is designed to get you to spend more, so don’t fall for it! Stick to your plan and your budget by leaving your credit and debit cards at home. Just don’t advertise that you have a wad of cash on you! 🙂

Take A Buddy

Much of Black Friday shopping is actually just waiting around and standing in line. Take a friend along to help pass the time and to ensure that you are both able to get all the items on your must-have lists. When I participated in Black Friday I was only out at the stores for about four hours, and all but about 15 minutes of that was spent standing in one line or another. Thankfully I took my brother along to help pass the time.

At the end of your Black Friday experience, don’t fret if you didn’t get everything on your well-thought out list. Lots of deals are left to be had the rest of the weekend and on Cyber Monday too.

 

Will you be participating in Black Friday this year? What is one tip you have that helps you save money while also reducing stress during the madness? Do you skip Black Friday altogether and go shopping on Thanksgiving instead?

 

 

Photo Courtesy of: TShein

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

8 comments

  1. I have never experienced Black Friday in the stores and personally want to keep it that way. I worked for Best Buy in college and realized early on that Black Friday was really only a good deal for about 10 people and everyone else just ended up paying about the same as you would a week later, but had to lose sleep and stand in the cold to realize it.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Anyway You Want ItMy Profile

    • You are so right! I’ve participated in Black Friday (at Walmart) one time. It was awful! I will never do it again. The “deals” just weren’t worth it to me. I like sleep a lot more!

  2. I plan on staying home. I’m not a big fan of crowds and have never gone Black Friday shopping because of that. I will just sleep instead!
    Michelle recently posted…Why Keeping Up With The Joneses Will Make You BrokeMy Profile

  3. You know, I’ve never taken part in a Black Friday sale. I do participate in the “Cyber Monday” sales however. Last year I got a good deal on a MacBook Air 🙂
    Thomas @ i need cash now! recently posted…How To Pay Student Loans Off FasterMy Profile

  4. I’ll be doing my yearly Amazon shopping, so I’ll be safe at home when people are getting trampled. My wife and I do like to go into Walmart later in the day for some good deals, but we don’t have to have the “great” deals. lol
    MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…The Slight Edge and How it Can Make You RichMy Profile

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