3 Tips to Make the Most of Cyber Monday

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  • There are plenty of great deals to be had the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • Here are some tips for finding great bargains and avoiding debt in the process.

Cyber Monday will be here soon. Here's how to snag great deals without overspending.

While many consumers look forward to Black Friday, for some, Cyber Monday is more their jam. Since Cyber Monday is an online event, it doesn't require you to battle crowds at the stores -- an especially important thing to avoid during a pandemic.

Still, it's important to approach Cyber Monday with an effective strategy. These tips will help you come away with great deals without pushing yourself into debt in the process.

1. Set a Cyber Monday budget in advance

There may be great deals at your disposal on Cyber Monday. But if you're forced to rack up a balance on your credit cards that accrues interest, those items will end up costing you more.

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That's why it's important to set a budget for Cyber Monday. Take a look at the money you have available to you. It may be a combination of cash from your most recent paycheck, savings that are earmarked for holiday purchases, or reward points from your credit cards you'll be cashing in.

Then, figure out what other days you'll be shopping on. If you're only going to shop on Cyber Monday, you can allocate your entire spending budget to that end. Otherwise, you may need to split it between Black Friday and any other periods you plan to shop.

Of course, setting a budget will only really be helpful if you actually stick to it. If you run the numbers and see you can afford to spend $500 on Cyber Monday, don't spend $550. If you go overboard, you might sorely regret it later when you're stuck carrying a credit card balance.

2. Make a list in advance

During Cyber Monday, the deals might really start popping up at a rapid pace. And that can be overwhelming.

A good bet? Make a list of the things you want the most. If they don't get discounted, don't replace them with items that are on sale but you don't really want. In that case, what'll likely happen is that you'll buy things for the sake of scoring deals, and then buy the things you originally wanted anyway, busting your budget.

3. Research product details in advance

Since quantities of discounted items may be limited on Cyber Monday, you may find yourself pressured to make purchases once those deals hit. But it's important to research the products you want ahead of time to make sure the ones being offered at a discount are really the items you think they are.

You may have your eyes on a specific TV that normally retails for $1,000. If you see its price drop down to $800 on Cyber Monday, you may be tempted to purchase it on the spot. But if you read the product description, you may see that it actually doesn't completely match up with the item you thought you were getting.

It's common for manufacturers to produce comparable, albeit lower-quality products for events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you research the items you want in advance, you'll be more likely to score an actual deal and less likely to get stuck with an inferior version of the product you had your eyes on.

It's easy for Cyber Monday to get lost in the excitement over Black Friday, but it could end up being a great day to shop. Stick to these tips to manage your spending and walk away with some excellent buys.

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