Surviving Black Friday

: Chris Lee Law Firm

  Filed under: Money Management

black fridayMany people will brave the crowds and face the storm of people trying to secure Christmas presents at a discount. While this year isn’t predicted to be the strongest year for retail, many people will still overspend this year. Since personal debt burdens have pushed many into actions such as bankruptcy, debt settlement or credit card negotiations, the focus of this year’s Black Friday sales should be getting through without overwhelming ourselves and families with  more debt.

The Game Plan

Although you may be tempted by many deals on items or store-wide sales, don’t lose sight of your wallet this holiday season. There are several ways you can stock up for the holiday season early without busting that credit card open with high balances.

First, do you research. Shop around online or through mailers to find the gifts you want at the best price. Many stores carry the same or similar items, and you may be able to find one significantly cheaper at one particular store. Also, many stores are offering a price match guarantee. So don’t leave home without coupons or advertisements that can be used for a discount at the register.

Second, plan your budget. Know how much you can spend on certain items and consider your overall monthly budget when shopping  on Friday. Don’t just place the blame on the holidays for busting your budget this month, remember you still have next month to plan for expenses as well.   Take cash or spend from your checking account. There is no need to charge gifts that will only cost you several months and hundreds more in interest payments.

Finally, consider your options. If you can’t afford a gift, ask about layaway or payment plan options. Many stores will still allow you to secure the sales price if you purchase the item through layaway or a payment plan. You will only need enough cash to secure the item with a 5 or 10 percent down payment.

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