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Financial tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your special day.

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’re 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’re 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 ‘keep up with the Joneses?’

What you need to know before you shop on black friday or cyber monday

What You Need to Know

It’s 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 the 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’re going, make a list and stick to it. Do what it takes to avoid temptation of various sales. Ask yourself questions like ‘Am I tempted because I really do need this and it’s a great deal? Or am I just tempted because I want it?’
  • Refrain from using credit and bring cash. If you can’t do that, give yourself a hard maximum for spending, regardless of the deals. If you’re heading to the United States, make sure you factor in the exchange rate and then ask yourself if it’s still worth it.
  • Do your homework. Shop online beforehand so you can compare prices – just because “they” say it’s a sale or a deal, doesn’t mean that it is.
  • Consider other savings like discount gift cards or online coupons and retailer discount codes.
  • If you’re 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. 
  • For online shopping, always take a look at shipping and determine if you’re eligible for free shipping, as this can save you a lot of money.
  • Go to the company’s website and engage the online chat feature. You can ask for a coupon code, a discount or get any questions you may have answered.

cyber mondayThe Bottom Line

If you’re 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 – plan ahead and keep our tips in mind to streamline your shopping experience and to stay on track without breaking the bank.

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