7 Tips to Avoid Overspending on Black Friday

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Do you have a plan to stay within budget this Black Friday? These tips may help.

Key points

  • If you're not careful, Black Friday shopping can result in overspending.
  • These tips may help you spend less as you shop Black Friday sales.

Black Friday will be here before you know it, and you're likely already being bombarded with sales flyers and marketing emails. Whether you're trying to save money, pay off debt, keep your credit card balance low, or avoid cluttering your home with more stuff you won't use, you may be hoping to limit your Black Friday spending. Here are some tips that can help you avoid overspending on Black Friday:

Set a budget (and follow it!)

Before you begin Black Friday shopping, take the time to make a budget. Doing this can keep you from spending more than you can afford. It's important to remind yourself of your budget as you shop, so you stick to it. Having a shopping budget can help you avoid credit card debt.

Shop for what you need

It can be tempting to buy electronics, household gadgets, clothes, and other items when they're on sale. As you begin to look at Black Friday sale ads, remember to focus on what you genuinely need to buy. Buying several "want" items may result in you spending more than you planned.

Focus on quality over quantity

If your Black Friday shopping plan involves buying holiday gifts for loved ones, you may be struggling to narrow down gift ideas. One tip that can help you avoid overbuying is to focus on quality over quantity. Instead of getting many gifts, buy one or two items with meaning. When you buy gifts with intention, your friends and family will see that you care.

Make a list

If you don't have a list to follow, adding extra items to your cart can be easy. This is a recipe for buying more than you need and spending beyond your budget. As you start to look at store flyers, make a list. This way, you know which items you want to buy and which stores are selling them. Having a list can help you save money, and it can also save you time when shopping.

Shop online

Some shoppers may find it easier to control their spending by shopping online. When you're shopping in-store, it can sometimes be overwhelming. It may also be easier to act impulsively when you walk past additional sale items that aren't on your original shopping list. If you think shopping only online may help you spend less, do it! You can walk away from your computer or phone once you're done shopping.

Unsubscribe from marketing emails

You're going to receive a lot of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal emails. Many companies will send multiple emails in one day because they know these marketing emails get consumers to buy.

You may feel like you need to take advantage of these discounts because of the marketing emails in your inbox. But if you're trying not to spend extra money, you don't have to give in to these emails. It may be a good idea to unsubscribe from some of these marketing emails for the time being. You can always join a mailing list again in the future if necessary.

Keep busy

If you don't plan to participate in Black Friday shopping this year due to budget concerns or if you're already finished with your holiday shopping, keep busy with other activities. Having positive distractions can keep you from giving in and buying sale items that you don't need.

Have a plan for what you'll do that day, and make sure you're not sitting in front of your computer or phone or walking around the store all day. Here are some ideas:

  • Plan a cozy movie or TV day at home
  • Spend the afternoon relaxing with your family
  • Enjoy an affordable activity (go to a museum, see a matinee movie, go bowling)
  • Have a book picked out to read

Participating in Black Friday shopping doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you make a plan and stick to your budget, you can get what you need without overspending. A smart way to earn rewards on your spending is to responsibly use a rewards credit card when shopping. Make sure to always pay the balance in full to avoid expensive credit card interest charges.

Take a look at this list of top rewards credit cards to learn more about rewards card options.

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