It’s that time of year again when retailers try to lure you into their store and overspend, I mean offer you incredible savings. Yes, it’s Back Friday or in some cases, Black Thursday. While the deals that retailers offer can be a big savings over regular prices, it’s important to not get caught up in the moment and overspend. And trust me, it is much easier to overspend than you think. Below are a few tips to help you navigate Black Friday without overspending.

4 Tips For Black Friday Spending Success

Shop With A List

This tip works at the grocery store, so why not extend it to Black Friday as well? When you have a list, you tend to stick to it. When you don’t have a list, it is much easier to get sucked into buying more things than you planned on.

Whenever I go out shopping on Black Friday, my list is broken down first by person and then by item. I make sure to list a few items for each person just so have some options when it comes to their gift. This list has saved me a lot of money because in past years I would overspend during the holidays.

Know The Cost of Add-ons

I went out shopping for a flat screen TV a few years ago. There were crazy deals on them at the time and I picked up an awesome one. It was more than I planned on spending, but the deal was too good to pass up. By the time I walked out of the store however, my total cost was even higher. I didn’t factor into the price the new HDMI cable that I would need or the bracket to mount the TV to my wall.
In the end, I was way over budget. To combat this, review your list before going out and make note of the gifts that will require add-ons. Think of things like batteries or screen protectors or cases. While none of these things are required, it is nice to have the gift in ready to use condition from the start.

Don’t Get Carried Away

When I bought my new flat screen TV, I was euphoric. I ended up not thinking, well not thinking rationally that is, and kept spending. I thought about how awesome playing video games would be on my new TV. I had to have an Xbox 360. Granted I had a Playstation 2 at the time, but the graphics on the Xbox were much better. I ended up buying that system plus a few games.

Then I thought that the graphics of the Playstation 2 could be improved with a better cable. So I went out and bought a component video cable set. By the end of the day, I spent close to $2,500 more than I had originally planned. The key is to not get carried away. Stop and think things through before buying.

Keep Things In Perspective

Finally, it is important to keep things in perspective. Know that retailers are luring you into their store with those deals and will sell you on everything else once you are there. Here is how it works:

1. Black Friday the store offers DVDs for $1 or $0.01. You go in for those DVDs. The store then tries to sell you on a new Blu-Ray player along with the needed cables and protection plan. This happens all of the time.

2. The store a lists flat screen TV for $199. In the fine print only 5 of these TVs are actually in stock to be sold. When you get to the store and the TV is gone, you see another TV for $399, which is 70% off. You buy it because of the great deal. The store just got you to spend $200 more than planned.

Be sure to read the fine print in the sales ads. You’ll be shocked at how few of the items in question are actually in stock.

Final Thoughts

Overall, everything comes back to shopping with a list. By having a list, you avoid much of the temptation that is out there on Black Friday. Also, do your best to remember what the holidays are all about and to not get caught up in the hype. There are deals to be found, but it’s not the end of the world if you miss out on them. Just be smart when it comes to buying an alternative and know that sales are abound all the way up until Christmas itself.