It is accurate to say that the biggest shopping season of the year is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To start off the busy shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, retailers often offer the best and most enticing promotional deals. However, you can easily get carried away with all these big red flash cards displaying the discounts! This, in turn, can hinder the process of eliminating credit card debt. Therefore, let’s look at ways to stay afloat on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
How to Stay Afloat On Black Friday and Cyber Monday
While the holidays are an exciting time, you need to have a plan of action and be cognizant of bad deals. It is crucial that you make a budget and commit to it even in the face of attractive deals. So can you really stay afloat on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Here is how you can!
- Be prepared and plan ahead – Know what you want and exactly how you will get it. Do your research before heading to the stores. Study advertisements and compare prices at several different stores to ensure you are getting the best deal.
- Make a budget and stick with it – Resist impulse buying by deciding exactly how much money you plan to spend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Set a holiday budget and make a plan to stay within your spending limit.
- Check store policies – Be aware of the return and exchange policy at the stores you choose to shop at. Some stores will only offer store credit or will charge a restocking fee for each returned item.
- Research the product – Make sure you check the reviews for each product. Check expert sites as well as consumer reviews before you buy the item. Just because it seems like a good deal does not make it a good product. Don’t fall victim to buying something just because it’s cheap.
- Get an early start – Many stores offer early bird specials or extra discounts to the first customers in line. Do your research and find out when the store near you will open and get there a couple hours before to secure a good spot up front. Many sale items also have limited quantities.
- Use a credit card – Use a credit card over a debit card whenever possible, especially on Cyber Monday. A fraudulent charge on a credit card can be an annoyance, but you are protected. A fraudulent charge on a debit card gives cyber criminals direct access to your bank account.
- Choose a different password – Do not open yourself up to potential risk by reusing passwords on shopping sites and matching them to passwords you use on the bank or social media sites.
- Verify security of website – Before purchasing online and entering any credit card information verify that the website is secure. Look for an HTTPS in the URL. This means all communication between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online shopping and banking.