Three big shopping days are on the horizon - Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. However, before you shop till you drop, pause a moment.
This year, with inflation on the rise, it’s worth tackling shopping season a little differently. These useful tips could help you save:
1. Support small businesses too
Small Business Saturday – on November 26th - is a chance for shoppers to boost their local economies and strengthen ties to the community. For small business owners, it’s a great opportunity to boost sales. The focus on neighborhood is in stark contrast to the dominance of huge national retail giants on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you are a small business owner, prepare for the big day by managing practicalities, stocking up on top-selling items, extending your normal hours, and making sure you have enough staff to serve more customers than usual. Keep your messaging strong and show your local customers that you understand them. Why not partner with neighboring stores – for example, offering customers discount coupons for one another’s stores?
For more business resources, check out these solutions for small business from New York Life.
2. Resist temptation
Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving – this year, that’s November 25th. Small Business Saturday is the following day, and Cyber Monday – when online retailers promote special deals – is November 28th.
All three days will see stores offering numerous discounts and promotions.
With offers being pinged at you left, right, and center, and banners in every shop you enter, it can be all too easy to give in to temptation. Two things that can make this even worse are if you are tired or hungry! Ask yourself, are you in a good state to shop?
Also, don’t focus on what other people are doing. Just because everyone else seems to be shopping, or buying a certain item, doesn’t mean that you have to. Black Friday and Cyber Monday also play on the psychology of competition and the fear of missing out (FOMO) – with only a limited number of items given at the best price, for example. Our competitive nature as humans can mean we want to “win.” Can you let go of this need?
2. Do you really need it?
Buying what you don’t really need is a common outcome of sales holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And while you might, temporarily, benefit from a shopper’s high, if you’re not careful you can be left with a pile of items you don’t really need.
One way to overcome this is to plan in advance, making a list, for example, of Christmas presents needed. Particularly for “big ticket” items, do your research beforehand, deciding on the one (or two) options you want, and buying the items only if they go on sale.
4. Remember to count the money spent
When big discounts are advertised, our brain often focuses on the amount we are saving. In doing so, we can overlook the amount we are spending.
Focus on quality not quantity, and on price as well as amount saved. What is the value of the item to you? Another trap you can fall into is thinking about how much you have saved and then spending the same amount on something else – equating to not saving that money at all.
5. Make a budget
The idea of calmly making a budget may go against the excitement you associate with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But by planning how much you have to spend, and sticking to it, the shopping experience will be way more enjoyable.
For more tips on holiday spending, check out our seasonal budget plan here.
Why not talk to a financial professional at New York Life about your spending and saving aims for the rest of the year and making the most of your money right now?
While everyone else is spending, why not sort out your finances and see what you could save? Sometimes, going against the flow can be a good thing.
Contact a New York Life financial professional to make your own spending and saving plan.
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