Tips for Responsible Black Friday Shopping

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Megan Whitworth
Megan Whitworth is the former creative director of Texas Forest Country Living. Growing up in East Texas, Megan discovered her love of writing at the age of 11, writing song lyrics and poetry, which turned into essays and articles for publications around East Texas. She later added photography into the mix capturing Friday night football games, the latest fashion looks, and portraits of people around the nation. Megan enjoys karaoke, blogging, reading, and road trips. She resides in Lufkin with her husband, Ryan, and two cats, Felix and Lucy.

The holiday shopping festivities are about to begin. Known as the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is among us.

While finding the perfect gift for someone special is an important part to many during the holiday season, it’s also important to keep in mind your budget. It’s easy to find deal after deal, however, those deals wrack up and your checkout total looks bigger and bigger.

To help you prevent a shopping catastrophe, here are a few tips on how to keep from overspending from Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.”

Ignore the hype: Don’t fall for marketing campaigns that make you feel as if you’re getting a great deal when you’re really not (i.e. buy it today – pay for it tomorrow). Retailers love to make it sound like the greatest deals of the year. Sometimes that’s true, but other times it’s not really as great as it sounds.

Don’t get caught up in the moment: If your shopping cart is overflowing, step back, regroup and make sure you can really afford everything you plan to purchase.

Keep gift giving to a minimum: There’s no shame in telling people that this year will be a lean holiday season when it comes to exchanging gifts.  For close friends and family, one to two gifts is fine.  You don’t need to purchase everything in the store.

Let logic be your guide: There are good deals to be had on Black Friday, but be mentally tough to know when enough is enough. Leave your emotions at home and let reason be your guide.

Budget in advance: Allocate a certain amount of money for each person you plan on buying gifts for and don’t overspend by even a dollar.  People think that a few dollars over budget is no big deal, but a few dollars here and a few dollars there quickly adds up.

Don’t pull out the plastic: Don’t even think of using a credit card unless you are 100 percent sure you can comfortably pay it off at the end of the month.

Think of the future: Ask yourself if you would rather have the short-term satisfaction of expensive material possessions, or the long-term results of financial freedom and abundance.

Learn from the past: Did you overspend last Black Friday or some other year?  Remember how it set you back financially?  Really revisit that pain and how miserable you felt before you head to the mall this year.

Limit charitable giving. While that might seem like it goes against the spirit of the season, until you’re financially comfortable yourself, you can’t give what you don’t have. A little leftover change is one thing, but those who try and support every cause known to man but can’t afford to are doing more harm than good.

Kids learn by example: The little ones are always watching. Even parents who have failed to reach their financial dreams can still teach their kids important lessons about money during the holiday season.

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