Listen, I get it. We all want a deal. We all want to save money. We all NEED to save money. Here’s the thing…actually three things:

1) If you have to use a credit card to pay for it, it is NOT a deal. Studies show what we end up paying in interest from holiday gift debt far outweighs the savings.

a. Use Dave Ramsey’s envelope system: Put the money you actually have to spend in cash in envelopes by category, not just by who the money is for a gift for, but an envelope for pocket money if you want to eat out along the way or stop for coffee or any other temptations, instant gratifications, or sustenance. The envelope system can be very helpful at preventing impulse purchases.

2) Set aside time in advance to evaluate what you will really be saving… There are only a few deals out there that are really worth the hype and the trip. Those usually have LONG lines of people and stress. If it is one of those things and is worth it to you, be willing to get there early and do what you can to de-stress in advance and prepare for the experience.

3) Remember what you are actually saving and spending…

a. You are not really saving if you are spending money. Stores would not offer these sales if they were not making money. Black Friday is a HUGE money-making event in the consumer world. Whether it is impulse buys, things you do not really need, or adding to your wish list things you cannot afford and then come back to buy later, black Friday is really a marketing ploy and a head game.

b. Also, you are not just spending money, you are spending time which is your most valuable and non-renewable resource. Is the amount you are slated to save worth the time you will never get back? Or would the time be better spent having quality time with your children at home?! Consider how you would spend the day if it were your last. If you spend it this way and refuse the Black Friday deals, I can guarantee you, you will not regret it. Time is more valuable than money!

This Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), choose FINANCIAL PEACE by not spending money you do not have, choosing Presence Over Presents, and getting creative with your present plan so you can truly save yourself money and stress.

With plans for presence,

Nikola Rosa