If you think you’re in for some great deals this Black Friday, think cautiously. While most stores advertise huge savings on hot ticket items, most people fail to recognize the “Black Friday Money Trap” they are stepping into. Just how bad is it? Last year, American’s spent a whopping $52 Billion at retail locations.
Middle Class America is notorious for living beyond their means, especially on Black Friday. They are often misled about how much money they are really saving and end up buying way more than they would on any other day during the year.
The problem is Black Friday leads many people to financial devastation. In 2010, the census bureau reported that total credit card debt in the United States was $886 billion. On Black Friday, either the consumer racks up even more credit card debt than they already have, or they pay cash but spend so much that they don’t have enough left to pay their mortgage, car payments and other essentials.
Here are 10 tips to stay mentally tough this Black Friday and not break the bank:
10. Ask yourself if you would rather have the short-term satisfaction of expensive material possessions, or the long-term results of financial freedom and abundance?
9. Don’t fall for marketing campaigns that make you feel as if you’re getting a great deal when you’re really not (i.e. buy it today – pay for it tomorrow)
8. Allocate a certain amount of money for each person you plan on buying gifts for and don’t overspend by even a dollar.
7. Don’t even think of using a credit card unless you are 100% sure you can comfortably pay it off at the end of the month.
6. Don’t get caught up in the moment. If your shopping cart is overflowing, step back, regroup and make sure you can really afford everything you plan to purchase.
5. Determine your budget before you begin shopping. Know how much you need for basic living expenses like your mortgage and utility bills, how much you need to put in savings, and then how much is just there for the spending.
4. Kids learn by example. Even parents who have failed to reach their financial dreams can still teach their kids important lessons about money during the holiday season.
3. There’s no shame in telling people that this year will be a lean holiday season when it comes to exchanging gifts.
2. There are good deals to be had on Black Friday, but be mentally tough to know when enough is enough.
1. When it comes to money on Black Friday, put your emotions on the shelf and let reason be your guide.
There are some deals to be had this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and by all means go out and enjoy, but like anything else in life, moderation is the key.
About the Author: Steve Siebold is author of the book How Rich People Think, which climbed to #31 on Amazon.com earlier this year. He spent the last 29 years interviewing some of the world’s richest people to get inside their heads to see how they really think about money. He discovered the differences in thinking between the middle class and wealthy are not only numerous, they’re extreme. How Rich People Think breaks down 100 of these differences, with the premise being you must think like a millionaire to become one. For more information and to download five free chapters, visit www.howrichpeoplethinkbook.com