Whether you buy on Black Thursday, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the one thing you need to do before starting is PREPARE. Yes, prepare. Not with your running shoes or with plenty of sleep. But rather prepare financially. So how do you prepare financially?
Here are three steps to get you started.
1- Determine how much you can realistically spend.
Is your job secure or are there rumors about lay-offs at the end of the year? Do you have any upcoming major repairs on your home or car? Do you have enough money for your holiday travels? Given today’s uncertain economic environment, it’s important to stay out of debt. Spend time determining how much you can realistically afford to spend.
2- Make a list of all the items you want to purchase.
This list should include the item and how much you are willing to spend on that item. Total the column with the amount you are willing to spend and that number should be less than or equal to the total you identified in #1. Having a list minimizes impulse buying. Walking into a store, you’ll be surrounded by good deals. Online, you’ll be inundated with pop-up specials. But stay on track by purchasing items only on your list.
3- Tame your needs from your wants.
WAIT – Your list isn’t final yet. This step is the hardest but it is the most important. Look at every item on your list and ask yourself these questions:
“Can I live without this item?”
“Is this the lowest price?”
“What else can I do with this money (e.g., build my emergency fund, save for a new house, save for a new car, save for retirement)?”
While you may be anxious to buy on Black Thursday, Black Friday or even on Cyber Monday, it’s important to PREPARE. Taking time to prepare financially will help you stay out of debt. Happy shopping!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. As a Transition Consultant, she offers sage advice in all aspects of life – financial, personal and professional. Niv does not manage money and does not sell financial products. Her services include spending plan development, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”