Black Friday has become such a huge phenomenon, Canadian retailers are now motivated to keep Canadians from spending their money south of the border. You can find sales galore this coming weekend. But I want you to answer the question: "Do you really gotta have it?"
Every year, it is the same thing: both sides of the border will be vying for your hard earned money. Retailers will try to entice you to spend by playing on your weakness and vulnerability around "not being able to pass up on a good deal." Remember, it's only a good deal if you have budgeted for the expense and have cash sitting in your bank account to cover it. It is easy to be persuaded to buy when you are feeling emotionally drained or stressed. It is harder to be influenced or tricked by persuasive marketing ploys, when you are in top form. Research tells us that 50 per cent of people have buyer's remorse after impulse shopping and seek to return the purchase.
Are you a spender who spends when you can't afford to?
I think most of us do not realize how much money we spend on stuff that is so unimportant in our lives. Do you really think having another watch will make your life better, when you can only wear one watch at a time? When we take a value-centered approach to our lives we are capable of engaging in more mindful decision making, and making conscious decisions around our spending. When we live by a set of values, decision making or spending is strategic and well thought out. Something that is not always the case on Black Friday.
Savvy Money Gal Shopping Tips
If you can't resist shopping this Friday, here are some helpful hints to help you shop better and avoid buyer's remorse or headaches from over spending.
• Be strategic. Hone in on big ticket items that could offer the greatest amount of savings. Forget the small ticket items. The savings won't be as great.
• Make an Informed Decision. Conduct research. Identify three retailers who carry the item you seek and check pricing today. You will know the pre-Black Friday pricing, if it isn't already on sale.
• Manage your time. Shop online. Don't waste time lining up at stores. Your time is valuable. There is never enough. Don't waste it.
• Be smart. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Remember the phrase "buyer beware." Make sure you know what you are buying so that there are no surprises or "gotchas".
• Set a budget. Define what you really can afford to spend. If you have no idea, resist the temptation to shop.
• Pay cash. Don't use your credit card unless you can pay off your balance next month in full. Remember to track your spending. Keep receipts in an envelope and make sure to add them up
• Park your emotions. Try not to get emotionally attached to something and lose your judgement.
• Define value. Everything in life has some form of value. It is important to define what you value and spend accordingly. When you look at something, think about it's real value.