What You Need to Know Before You Shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday By Renu Singh-Joseph and Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy Are you searching online for Black Friday deals? Or checking out Black Friday sale items in your local flyers? Whether you\u2019re shopping in Canada or heading south across the border to shop in the United States, it can be so easy to get drawn into the hype of Black Friday 2017 or Cyber Monday 2017. Before you head out to shop or surf the net, take a minute to reassess and revalue why you\u2019re shopping and what you really need versus want. Are you buying Christmas presents that you actually need to get? Or are you buying the latest in fashion and technology to \u2018keep up with the Joneses?\u2019 What You Need to Know It\u2019s important to not only be informed, but to stick to a set of guidelines to avoid impulse shopping and breaking your budget. The same goes for Cyber Monday, where it seems even easier to spend money sitting behind your computer or phone using your credit cards. Take a look at your budget before heading to\u00a0the stores Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips We thought it would be helpful to share some tips that can be applied to your shopping, savings and budgeting when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be clear on what your intention is going in. Are you going to buy gifts for Christmas? Do you need new shoes? Or are you going there to browse the mall and take in the crowds? Once you determine why you\u2019re going, make a list and stick to it. Do what it takes to avoid temptation of various sales. Ask yourself questions like \u2018Am I tempted because I really do need this and it\u2019s a great deal? Or am I just tempted because I want it?\u2019 Refrain from using credit and bring cash. If you can\u2019t do that, give yourself a hard maximum for spending, regardless of the deals. If you\u2019re heading to the United States, make sure you factor in the exchange rate and then ask yourself if it\u2019s still worth it. Do your homework.\u00a0Shop online beforehand so you can compare prices \u2013 just because \u201cthey\u201d say it\u2019s a sale or a deal, doesn\u2019t mean that it is. Consider other savings like discount gift cards or online coupons and retailer discount codes. If you\u2019re shopping on Cyber Monday, know your numbers which includes tax, shipping and exchange (if applicable). Sometimes the listed price looks like a good deal until you get to the online checkout.\u00a0 For online shopping, always take a look at shipping and determine if you\u2019re eligible for free shipping, as this can save you a lot of money. Go to the company\u2019s website and engage the online chat feature. You can ask for a coupon code, a discount or get any questions you may have answered. The Bottom Line If you\u2019re feeling undecided about shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, think about staying home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee or shopping local to support your neighbourhood small business owners, while others battle the parking, crowds and line-ups. There may be some great sales or deals to be had over the Black Friday weekend or online on Cyber Monday, but have a game plan in place \u2013 plan ahead and keep our tips in mind to streamline your shopping experience and to stay on track without breaking the bank.