Black Friday Shopping? Don’t Forget These Four Helpful Tips

Local Financial Professional Barry Bigelow Offers Advice and Tips to Help Keep Your Wallet Happy This Black Friday

DULUTH, Minn. – Black Friday is known for its door-busting deals and bargain-hunting shoppers.

Local Financial Professional Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial stopped by FOX 21 Local News from 7 – 9 a.m. with tips to help you make the most of your time and money this Black Friday.

Black Friday is almost here and so are the deals. Why do we need to prepare?

• Shoppers are expected to spend an average of more than $1,200 on everything from gifts to travel this holiday season.
• Thanksgiving weekend is still a popular time to shop, and more than 60% of holiday shoppers say they will make a trip to the stores to find a deal.
• As you hunt for deals this holiday season, it can be easy to let your spending get out of control.

What do we need to do before we hit the stores?

Bigelow says to make a plan!

• Put a plan in place before you start shopping. Take inventory of who you’re shopping for, what you’re planning to buy and how much you can afford to spend.
• I tell my clients putting a plan in writing helps you stay focused.
• Whether it’s your retirement plan, a monthly budget, or your holiday gift plan, write it down!

It can also be beneficial to ration your cash.

• If possible, I recommend only using cash this holiday season.
• Swiping your credit card makes it easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. Cash provides a visual reminder you are spending your hard-earned money.
• If you have to use a credit card for a purchase, consider using your card with the lowest interest rate, and make sure you pay it off.
• Avoid opening store credit cards or paying extra fees for layaway.

What should we be doing while we’re shopping?

• Don’t be shy about asking questions. When someone comes into my office, we encourage them to ask questions so they know exactly where they stand financially.
• When you’re in the store, ask the employees how long certain sales will last. And be sure to ask about the store’s return policy.
• If there is a specific sale item you are looking for, bring the Black Friday ad with you and ask for help.

Bigelow reminds consumers to double check deals.

• Not all items are deeply discounted on Black Friday, so don’t fall for the hype.
• Do some online research to check the original price of the gifts you’re buying; also check other retailers to see what that item is selling for. Compare that to the sale price to see if it really is a great deal.
• Retailers also offer limited-time sales. For example, the special price on that big screen TV might expire at midnight. Double check the items you’re buying to make sure you’re getting the right price and that it fits in your budget.

When we have shopped until we dropped, what should we do after?

• Remember that holiday budget you filled out before shopping? Take notes on where you saved or where you overspent.
• Check your budget throughout the holiday season to see how much money you have left to spend or where you need to cut back.
• Most importantly, keep your receipts. You might find a bigger discount closer to Christmas Day, and your receipt will come in handy if you need to make an exchange.

Click here to contact Barry Bigelow at Great Waters Financial.

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