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How to Prepare for a Stress Free Black Friday – Shopping From The Comfort of Your Home

I love Black Friday! Nothing beats the thrill of getting the things I want or need at a great price! Rock bottom price! However, I don’t enjoy the stress, the crowds and the super long lines to at the cash register. This is just way too much stress for me. So, I stay home, and shop from the comfort of my own home. I end up having a stress free Black Friday, yet scoring some great deals.  

In order to make the best of this day without all the stress and still save, planning and getting ready is essential. There are so many sales and so many deals, it can be overwhelming: What deals are live first? or what promos you can stack with your rewards codes and keeping track of time in order to snag the Doorbuster deals and so on. To add to the stress, Black Friday shopping use to be only on the day after Thanksgiving. Then they started ‘on Thanksgiving Day’. Now deals start on November first. To prepare for this big shopping event and avoid the stress and prepare. How to prepare for a stress free Black Friday?

lStart your shopping list early: Don’t wait around until a few weeks before black Friday. Throughout the year try to keep a list of items that you or your loved ones say they want or needs, that can wait to be purchased. It is super easy to keep this list handy by saving it to your cellphone, or just telling your Google Assistant or Alexa to add the item to your Black Friday list. How do you make this list with kids and teens? Most kids love to talk about the new toy they want. To get them talking may as simple as turning on a tv show and wait for commercials. The latest toy advertisement is sure to pop up. Another tactic to use, take your kid shopping with you, and visit the toy section. Just wait for the OOHHS & AAHHS and add to your list. With older kids, just ask what they want. Typically, gift cards are the most popular gift with teens, but a personalized gift shows you care more. Paying attention to what they wear gives you a clue. If you choose to give a personalized gift, get a gift receipt just in case.

lSign up to get emails and store ads from the retailers where you do your shopping. There  are so many advantages to signing up ,that this is worth doing for year round savings anyway. A lot of retailers will offer you a discount, a promo code or free shipping when you sign up. Department stores like Dillard’s or Walmart, for example, will give you early access to shopping events, and offer this exclusivity via newsletter or email. Sometimes retailers have freebies for their customers, and they’ll let you know with a nice email. Most important, signing up to get store ads also mean that you will be getting Black Friday ads as soon as they are available. Don’t wait until you get the Sunday paper to view the store ads, This year, Target leaked their Black Friday ad on November 1st. To kick off the event, shoppers were able to snag Black Friday Prices on certain items on that day. Guess how they told consumers: email!

lFollowing your favorite store on social media is great way to find out the latest events and deals. Often other followers will post deals they snagged. This means you can snag that deal too. In addition, you can join forums, groups, deals sites, boards that post Black Friday deals to keep up with the latest. Specially if you plan to shop at Amazon, which has fantastic lightning deals for their members. Not an Amazon member? start your free 30 day trial period. Don’t forget, if you are a college student, don’t forget to get 6 months Free Amazon Prime membership

lHoliday shopping is fun, but it shouldn’t increase your debt. As tempting as it may be to just take advantage of all the awesome deals, creating a budget for your Black Friday shopping is a must,. Overspending is not only stressful, but a quick downer to all the shopping fun. Planning a budget can be done in a couple of different ways: If you already have a monthly or annual budget, include Black Friday expenses into your budget. If you don’t have a budget, determine how much money you are able to spend shopping on Black Friday. If some or all your holiday shopping is done on Black Friday, then add the money you want to spend shopping for holiday gifts to your Black Friday pot. Once you know how much money you have, make a list of the people or charity you want to buy for or donate to, and how much money you are allocating to each person. Track your expenses using a software, app or if you prefer paper and pencil, there are several holiday planners to keep organized

lPart of your preparation to make the most of your Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping should include maximizing the use of your payment method. The most common form of payment for shopping, and the method that offers consumers the most benefit is using credit cards. Some credit card companies offer cashback percentages for paying with their credit card. You can see in  this video how this benefit works.  There is also a great service that some credit cards offer but few consumers use: price protection. With price protection, you get the difference back when something you purchased has a lower price either where you bought it or somewhere else. I use this benefit for EVERYTHING that is covered. Whatever credit card you are using to pay for your shopping, look for consumer benefits. Watch this video to see how it works. 

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