THE BLOG

Suffering from Black Friday Buyer's Remorse?

12/02/2013 03:49 EST | Updated 02/01/2014 05:59 EST

Shopping on Black Friday and on the weekend was a frenzy as retailers advertised huge discounts to part people from their money. So, I want to know, was it worth it? Did you get what you were looking for? Did you find the best bargains and save money on Black Friday? \Let's pause. All right, how much did you REALLY spend? If you are like most of us you probably spent more then you planned and are now looking through your receipts to tally up your spending for the BIG REVEAL.

"Don't miss out;" "Hurry in;" "Save 40%, Save 50%;" "Shop and Save;" "BOGO's only today."

Oh My! I gotta admit shopping ads were everywhere. By all accounts, the preliminary media reports suggest that consumers came out in large numbers, and many shopping malls opened early to take advantage. I am sure some of you will report fantastic success. However there is no doubt in my mind, that some of you may be having second thoughts and are suffering from buyer's remorse. These are feelings you have after making a bad money decision like overspending or impulse shopping, and you regret your actions.

It's so easy to get caught up in the frenzy and hysteria for great deals so don't feel bad. Each of us from time-to-time spends our money in a way that perpetuates our bad habits. Getting clarity and confidence about our money comes with making the right money choices. The reality is most of us don't pay enough attention to our spending. If you are lost in the forest, you need to navigate to safety by means of a compass. Following your money trail is a strategy that acts as a compass to help you stick to your spending plan, if you have one.

How to recover from the aftermath of over spending?

Did the thrill of the chase propel you forward like an uncontrollable force? 'Fess up, because if you find yourself dealing with buyer's remorse now is the time to take action. The easiest thing to do is return your purchase. You can course correct so that in the future you become a strategic shopper on a budget. Here are a few helpful hints to prepare you for the next wave of retailer euphoria.

Readjust your future spending plans. If you find you overspent on Black Friday, you will need to readjust your spending for the balance of the year. If you overspent by $300 you will have to readjust your future spending to offset the $300 you already spent. A few simple ideas come to mind: bag your lunch, make coffee at home, give the gift of your time for Christmas, and readjust your family's expectations around gifts.

Know and understand your triggers. Time to evaluate your emotions, daily events, situations, that may trigger overspending. What type of trigger affects you? Once you identify your set of potential triggers, you can learn how to manage them and make strategic decisions with your money.

Know how emotions can play into your money spending. Emotions can trigger bad money habits. If you are upset and want to feel better, does that mean spending money? Time to be mindful and deal with that emotion, deal with how you feel before you head out to shop. As funny as it may sound, having a clear mind is important when it comes to spending money.

Embrace the power of making trade offs. Life is a balancing act with decisions to be made. We are constantly trading off one thing for another and we all have a budget to live within. Each time you are faced with a decision to buy, know the dollars you spend cannot be spent to buy something else. Trade offs make you aware of mindful decision making and the outcomes.

Plan ahead. Create a spending plan for the next shopping extravaganza. I am not the first or last person to suggest creating a budget or spending plan. I offer a free spending planner download to get you started. Most spending plans or budgets fail because it's easy to overspend. Budgets may feel restrictive, like a diet. It's time to re-frame your thinking. Think of a spending plan as a tool, like a GPS, to get you where you want to go to in life. Creating a spending plan, will keep you on track and is an ideal way to curb buying on impulse and to have bigger picture financial goals.

Anita Saulite, Financial Services Consultant and Founder of Savvy Money Gal

Author of the Savvy Money Gal: 6 Savvy Money Strategies for Successful Women