Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here. Are you preparing to tackle your holiday shopping this weekend? If you are getting ready to spend, read our tips to learn about what you should and shouldn’t do so you won’t break the bank.

Do: Make a list of what you are looking for

In order to avoid making unnecessary impulse purchases, write down a list of what you are looking for and stick to it. Having a list of who you are shopping for and what you need to find helps you to resist the urge of making additional, unnecessary purchases.

Many Black Friday doorbuster sales are designed to get you into the store where they hope they will be able to sell you even more stuff. Decide ahead of time what exactly you need so you can avoid impulse buying.

Do: Research beforehand

Before you even enter the stores, research online. While some deals seem great on paper, it is only after research that you’ll realize they are not as great of a deal as you thought. For example, some stores will raise their prices right before the holiday, so a 60% markdown will look like a great deal. However, it’s not actually that different from the regular price.

Make sure to compare the prices rather than the percent markdown and look for coupons online before entering the stores. Check out websites like Best Black Friday and Deal News to find the best deals. 

Do: Make a game plan

If you decide to hit the mall on Black Friday, make a game plan of the stores you want to go to and the order you are going to visit them. A game plan prevents you from wandering around the crowds of the mall, and it helps you stick to your shopping list.  If you are going to be shopping with someone else, make a plan for where you will meet back together in case you are separated.

Do: Look for quality, not quantity

You are probably familiar with deals that encourage you to buy a lot in order to get the discount. This includes deals such as “Buy 3, Get 2 Free.” While discounts like this are enticing, you will most likely end up with a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Instead, look for quality deals over quantity.

Don’t: Restrict your shopping to in-stores only

Even though the Black Friday in-store deals are great, don’t forget that there will be tons of other online deals going on throughout the weekend and on Cyber Monday. Online deals are typically the same or even better than the in-store deals. If you don’t want to deal with the crowds of the mall, shop online from the comfort of your own home.

Don’t: Buy for yourself

With lots of great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, chances are you’re going to be tempted to buy some presents for yourself. Resist the temptation and focus only on the family or friends you are shopping for. If you find something you really love, add it to your wishlist instead of buying it for yourself.

Don’t: Max out your budget all at once

While you are shopping it’s easy to get caught up in charging your card without realizing how much you are spending. Even if you’re finding good deals, make sure to save money in your budget for the rest of the season. If you know you won’t be able to hold back from swiping your card, consider shopping with cash only to avoid going over budget.

Don’t: Rush to finish your shopping in one day

If you can’t find what you are looking for on Black Friday or Cyber Monday there will be plenty of more days to shop and find deals throughout the rest of the holiday season. Avoid buying something that you are not 100% sold on just because it’s a good price.

Even with the best Black Friday deals, you might need some more help with tackling the cost of your holiday shopping. Check out our ongoing holiday loan promotion and holiday club account promotion to help you afford the expenses of the holiday season. Visit us to learn more, and good luck shopping!