Sale! Sale! Sale! Heart races, the wallet opens, credit card comes out … does this sound like you? Before you get in over your head this year, a little presale strategy might be in order.

While there are some bargains to be had, don’t get caught up in a shopping frenzy you may regret down the line.

List your needs/wants

What items do you actually want or need? Making a list as opposed to just buying specials ad hoc can really be an advantage. If you know exactly what you want you can go straight for the items high on your list first, increasing your chances of getting it. If you miss out, you can work your way down the list.

Know your budget

Knowing your budget is the biggest piece of advice I could ever give anyone. I am a shocking impulse buyer and that does NOT always work in my favor. There have been times I have blown my budget buying something I didn’t need or really couldn’t afford.

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Stick to your budget

When you have worked out your budget … stick to it. It is so tempting to go over just a little bit. If you know you are likely to do that in “the moment” factor that in too. Give yourself a buffer … maybe 5% or 10%, but NO MORE!

Buy now, pay later?

Buy now … pay MUCH more later. If you really can’t afford an item now, can you really afford it later?

I am not giving financial advice here, just some life advice. Some of these schemes have a very high interest rate if you miss a payment or fall behind. There are some that have a fixed fee and set deadlines and they can work if you can factor it into your budget. But don’t go crazy. You could end up resenting your big-ticket purchase.

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Do your homework

Now you have your list and your budget, do a little scouting and work out how much your wish list items are worth now, that way you will know just how much a bargain it really is. Also, check out who is selling the items you want, sometimes you can find a bargain in unexpected places. At Photofocus, we’ve been developing a Holiday Shopping Guide with some great deals.

Photo by chrissie kremer on Unsplash

I’m not saying don’t spend big, I’m all for go big or go home … but in what has been a truly turbulent year, don’t spend the rent or the food budget on items you don’t really need. A little preparation can go along way to having a very happy Black Friday sale. And hey — IF there is a little left in the bank after you’ve got what you need, you can still have a little retail therapy too, right?