Black Friday and Your Bank Account

Black Friday is around the corner.  10 Tips to Help Your Bank Account Survive!

1.     Make a budget for your total gift purchases – how much can you reasonably afford to spend on your entire list?

2.     Make a list of who you “need” to shop for – who do you feel you want to give some sort of gift to this year?  Understand why you want to do that and ask if the expectation is realistic for you and the relationship and your financial situation.

3.     Prioritize the list of “receivers” – try to determine from the total dollar amount you have to spend how that money should be distributed across the list.

4.     Create a list of possible gifts for everyone on your list – with a “back-up” gift if what you want is not available or out of your assigned cost range.

5.     Plan your shopping strategy.  Price check via the internet who has the best deal on the items you are looking for.  If you have a hard time staying disciplined in the mall and the “excitement” of the shopping moment – consider shopping on line.

6.     If retail shopping, plan your driving route regarding the stores you are going to so that you save time and gas money.

7.     To help you manage the budget portion, if you are retail shopping, use cash only – when you are out of cash, you are done shopping.  If you are shopping on-line – keep a running total of your purchases deducted from your spending total.  When it hits zero – you are done – log off!

8.     Are their gifts other than cash value items that you can give to some of the people on your list?

9.     Always ask: can I afford this, do I (or the does the recipient) need this, and what are the long-term consequences of over-spending.

10.  Remember the real reason for the season is about a gift we have all received, not about something we need to purchase!  Everyone can give love and acceptance as a reflection of that gift – it costs nothing and it can change the world.