I love Thanksgiving! I love the food, I love being with family, I love falling asleep watching NFL games after lunch, I love the leftovers. I think you get the point. More and more lately though, the day of Thanksgiving has been infiltrated by the infamous Black Friday.
You know, the day where we all learn to really appreciate each other . . .
In the spirit of trying to survive Black Friday with finances intact and a little bit of the leftover gratitude of Thanksgiving, I thought I would put together my 5 tips for surviving Black Friday.
1) SET A BUDGET
While this seems rather obvious, the most important thing anyone can do before heading out for the Black Friday sales is to set a budget. How much can you afford to spend and what are you spending for? Make sure that you actually have the money within your budget and categorize everything you plan on buying.
2) MAKE A PLAN
Know where you are going and know what you want to buy. This is the where you take your budget and actually figure out what you are going to buy or what types of things you are going to buy with your budgeted resources. This is where the discipline really comes in. You will see tons of sales and items that you didn’t know you “needed” until you got to the store. Without a plan, you will be tempted to buy these things. Don’t get sucked in. Make a plan and stick to it.
3) LEAVE THE CREDIT CARDS AT HOME
How can you possibly buy things without credit cards? Take cash. If you only take cash within your budget and you leave your credit cards at home, then it will be nearly impossible for you to blow your budget. Not only is it a cool feeling to be the guy who whips out 3 fresh $100 bills to buy a TV, but it also makes you really think about what you are using your money to buy.
4) MAKE IT AN ADVENTURE
Don’t let yourself get so stressed out about missing deals or finding parking spaces. Treat the day like a grand adventure. Take people with you and make it a game. Don’t get worked up if you miss out on a “good deal,” there will be plenty more to come. This week should be all about family and friends and being grateful – don’t let the stress of shopping derail a good week!
5) BUY SOMETHING TO GIVE AWAY
I love this final suggestion. This will help keep life in perspective and put everything else we talk about regularly on this blog into practice. While you are out, find a useful or cool item that you can give away to a complete stranger. Perhaps you give it to a homeless person, a person checking out behind you, or someone who just looks like they could use some cheer. It doesn’t matter that much, just give it to someone. Be alert and pay attention to others around you and think about how you might be able to make someone’s day. When you do this, I promise you that you will find tremendous joy.
I hope that these tips are helpful. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and make someone else’s day.