You may have celebrated the real Thanksgiving long before Halloween, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on the American Thanksgiving weekend—and we’re not talking about the football games. Black Friday and Cyber Monday—some of the biggest shopping days for our neighbors to the south— have made their way up here, and plenty of deal-hungry Canadians are ready to shop.
While Americans aren’t afraid to throw an elbow or trample an employee to death in order to get the last Xbox One X on the shelf, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a little different up here in the Great White North. It’s a little more civilized as people wait their turn in line to enter stores, and you’re more than likely to hear a few ‘sorry’s than muttered curses before you’re pushed out of the way.
Though there’s a distinctive lack of any stampeding crowd, that doesn’t mean Canadians aren’t ready to buy. Last year, about one in five Canadians spent $350 on the weekend, cashing in online and in-store. This is just the beginning of our spending. With the holidays following on the heels of the American Thanksgiving, we have gifts, food, drinks, and decorations to buy.
If you expect to find the deal of a lifetime without sacrificing your household budget, you need a plan. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to start. We have some tips:
- Use a Budget: The first thing you need to do is figure out how much cash you can afford to spend on the holidays. Take an evening or weekend to get intimate with your finances to see where your excess cash is going. You may be able to identify spending habits that you can divert towards presents.
Experts suggest you save as much as 1.5% of your income for the holidays if you want to keep your spending in check. This number includes everything from gifts to food to travel expenses.
- Go List Crazy: It doesn’t matter if you use a pen and paper, your Android, or something completely different. The important part is that you have something you can check as you hop from store to store. Don’t leave the house or fill your digital shopping cart without it. If you follow this list like it’s law, you can avoid buying things that you don’t need.
- Research is Your Friend: Spending the time to figure out which stores will have the best deals can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. It, just like your budget and list, can help you focus on the things you actually need. Go online to check your favourite retailers to see what they’re offering for the weekend. You can also use these apps to help you hunt down the best deals.
Don’t limit your research to just retailers. It’s a good idea to check in with other Canadians like you to see if they have any advice on how to keep your holiday spending to a minimum.
- Think about Backup: It’s important to stay positive and hope you stay under budget this year but be pragmatic about the season. Things don’t always go according to plan, and you could be facing more bills or an unexpected repair at the same time your spending skyrockets.
You’ll also want to consider creating a safety net in case you get caught up by the gift giving spirit. Traditional lenders may not be able to offer the security you need as they take a long time to process your request. In Canada payday loan lenders offer a faster alternative that could cover your cash flow shortage better than other personal loans. To see if this product is for you, take the time to learn about payday loans this holiday.
These 3 steps may be simple but don’t underestimate them. Whether you plan on taking advantage of the American shopping holiday or not, keep these tips in mind. They can help your finances stay on track despite the added pressure the holidays put on them.
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