I used to be a sucker for any huge “On Sale!” sign. Since I’m “Mrs. Frugality”, I love deals and discounts; taking advantage of them makes me feel smart and empowered. Unfortunately, saving money requires spending money. And, sometimes the quest to save money can blind us to the fact that getting a deal may not be the smartest financial priority in light of our current financial situation. So, before you camp out with your credit card and your sharp elbows, ask yourself the following questions:
• How much can I afford to spend? “Afford” means that you can pay cash or pay for the amount in full when your credit card billing arrives.
• Do I need–and plan to use–the purchase for a better quality of life or am I buying to impress others? I’ll never forget that 6 a.m. adventure over a decade ago to the St. John warehouse in Orange County, Calif in the pouring rain where I gleefully secured a $700 pair of St. John classic sling-back pumps for only $120. Although they remain stylish to this day, I’ve only worn them once—but I’m still bragging about the “deal”.
• Have I researched prices (including online options) and know what a deal looks like, or am I being lured by the “sales hype”?
• Am I emotionally ready to handle the crowd and all that comes with getting a Black Friday deal? You need to be rested, patient, and full of God’s spirit to have a rewarding experience.
I’m not suggesting that you abandon this holiday frenzy, but please consider that going into the RED on BLACK Friday can result in your being BLUE for the next 12 months!