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Black Friday, Every Friday?

Holiday Shoppers Started Earlier This Year.

It used to be that Black Friday started the day after Thanksgiving.  Just in case you didn’t know, Black Friday got its name from retailers.  Investopedia states that it was the day that retailers had enough sales to put them “in the black”, an accounting expression referring to the recording of profits in black ink and losses in red.

Black Friday, Everyday

Some retailers started launching their holiday sales campaigns as early as October.  It would seem that not only are retailers happy to get the holiday shopping season started, but happy about the early start also is the consumer.  According to a Consumer Expenditure Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released in October, people are spending less.  With less money to spend, consumers are looking for the big deals, and looking earlier.

As the economy remains in a slump and slow to recover, more and more people are cautious of their spending having worked hard to reduce their debt.  Most consumers are shopping on a budget and sticking to it.

Retailers are starting the holiday shopping deals sooner in hope of catching more of these frugal shoppers.  By giving consumers more time to pick up holiday savings, retailers hope to get people shopping longer, spending more money.

It is impossible to go into a major retail outlet without seeing evidence of this “earlier start” to holiday’s deals.  Our local Lowe’s, of all places, had Christmas decorations and “pre-holiday” sales going on before Halloween!

Although receiving a decent turnout this year, Black Friday I feel is turning into just another holiday shopping day.  Due to great savings, on most items targeted for the holidays, being had as early as October, there becomes less of a need for the camp-out ritual traditionally associated with Black Friday.

The smart shopper, especially the one set on sticking to their budget, would be better served to avoid Black Friday all together.  Without the temptation to get caught up in the Black Friday buying frenzy, the smart can sit back and wait; searching for the great deals both at retail outlets and on-line.

It’s during the holiday season that most of us overspend, destroying all of the hard work we put into making and adhering to a realistic household budget.  There are many things that you can do to stick to your budget this holiday shopping season.  Let’s take a look at a few things that we can all do to be financially responsible and make it through this year’s shopping season with our budget intact.

Price Matching

At Target, they will match the price if you buy a qualifying item at a Target store between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 and find the identical item for less in a competitor’s local printed ad or at selected online competitors such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com or BabiesRUs.com.

Find the Best Deal

Use that smart phone! Use your mobile device, especially right there in the middle of the store, to compare prices to see if you are getting the best deal.  Sites such as RetailMeNot.com and PriceGrabber.com can lend you a hand. You could also load up an app on your device to assist in your holiday shopping.  Check out RedLaser, Decide.com or Armadealo.

Don’t Just Wander!

Make a list and a budget.  If you head out on your shopping spree without a list will be at a greater risk of falling victim to the ever dreaded “Impulse Buy” which always leads to a bad, often incurable case of buyer’s remorse.

No New Credit!

Do not fall victim to the ploy to open a store credit card in order to receive an immediate discount on purchases you make today.  …with your new store card.  At likely more than 20%

All it takes is a little foresight and preparation to reduce the expense of your holiday shopping this year.  Stick to your budget, be financially responsible and avoid the Holiday Blues.

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