While you may be browsing Her Campus for all things Thanksgiving this week, you might want to start planning for the day after: Black Friday!
Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season, with incredible deals and opportunities to save at all your favorite stores.
Though the popularity of the in-person Black Friday experience has waned in favor of online shopping, I’m a traditionalist. Ever since I could drive myself, I’ve participated in the Black Friday sales by visiting the mall and wandering into store after store.
That being said, here is my guide to Black Friday: what to do, where to go, and what to prioritize.
- Put yourself second
With the holidays coming up, this is your chance to save on gifts for your friends and family!
I know it may be tempting to splurge on yourself when you see all of the sales at your favorite stores, but the costs add up.
It’s important to prioritize your loved ones first. That way, you can both justify your spending and feel good about who you’re spending for.
Plus, sales give you more leeway to get thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. I know it’s the thought that counts, but some financial flexibility never hurt!
- Plan your route
Whether you’re going to the mall or shopping online, it’s good to plan where you’re going to shop ahead of time.
When I go to the mall for Black Friday, I get there as soon as it opens so I can take my time browsing or trying on clothes in fitting rooms.
I typically circulate the mall in a specific route, checking the mall directory online ahead of time to decide what stores I want to hit.
You can do this for online shopping too! Make a list of your favorite online shops and search for sales online before going into Black Friday blind.
We all tend to fall into the trap of sales, seeing the bright “50% off” signs and getting overexcited. But all of the little expenses add up. If you don’t plan accordingly, you may spend money you don’t have.
When you’re a college student, you can’t afford to blow your bank in one day. Unless you don’t intend to spend a penny for the rest of the semester, some light budgeting is a good idea.
I don’t have a strict budget for myself, but I have a general benchmark of how much is too much. I decide how much money I’m comfortable spending in total, factoring in my estimated weekly spending and the fact that I plan to work during winter break.
It’s a little funny, but I check my bank account after a few purchases, keeping track of when I should ease up and call it a day on the shopping. After I secure gifts for my family, I see if there is still room for personal spending.
- Remember what you’re thankful for
Black Friday may be after Thanksgiving, but don’t lay the message to rest! It’s important to still be thankful for what and who you have. While I’m thankful for Black Friday deals, they aren’t important in the grand scheme of things.
This day is about getting ready for the holiday season, the season we spend with family and friends, sipping hot cocoa, and making sweet memories that we’ll cherish for years to come.