Black Friday

Black Friday Shopping Done Right: Tips to Score Deals Without Falling into Debt

The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with massive crowds, door buster deals, and shopping madness. Black Friday sales seem to get bigger and more chaotic every year. With so many tempting deals, it’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria and overspend. However, with some planning and self-control, you can avoid debt and still score some awesome deals this Black Friday.

Set A Realistic Budget During Black Friday

Before you head out to the stores, take time to assess your financial situation and come up with a realistic budget. Look at how much disposable income you have after essential expenses like rent and bills. Be honest with yourself about how much you can realistically afford to spend on gifts, decor, food, and yourself this holiday season.

Once you have a total budget, break it down by category and per person you need to buy for. Having a spending limit per gift will help curb impulse buys that go overboard. Leave some wiggle room for spontaneous purchases, but try to stick close to your predetermined limits.

Make A Shopping Battle Plan

Doing some research ahead of time can save you time and money on Black Friday. Browse Black Friday ads online and make a list of the specific deals and items you want to target. This will prevent wandering aimlessly and making regrettable purchases in the heat of the moment.

Prioritize your list from most important to least to help guide your shopping expedition. Have alternate options in mind in case your first choices sell out fast. Plot the most direct route between stores to minimize travel time.

Leave Credit Cards At Home

One of the best ways to control spending is to only take a limited amount of cash with you. It’s much harder psychologically to part with cash than swiping plastic. The act of physically counting bills and watching your stash dwindle provides instant feedback on what you’re spending.

Also consider leaving credit cards at home to avoid the temptation to overspend what you budgeted. This may not be realistic for big purchases, but avoiding credit cards for impulse buys goes a long way towards avoiding post-holiday debt.

Bring Snacks And Comfortable Shoes

Part of responsible Black Friday strategy is being prepared for the harsh realities of deal hunting. The most coveted deals often require lining up outside the store for hours ahead of opening. Packing water, snacks, warm clothes, and portable phone chargers will make the waiting game more bearable.

Once inside the store, you could be on your feet for hours weaving through crowds and racing to claim products. Having supportive and comfortable footwear is crucial for safety and endurance. Consider slipping on sneakers or slippers instead of fashionable but flimsy shoes.

Set A Firm Stop Time

It’s easy to get carried away once the shopping frenzy kicks in, but know when to call it quits. Set a firm end time for yourself to stop shopping, whether or not you’ve checked off everything on your list. This prevents diminishing returns from exhaustion, overspending, and impulse buys you’ll regret later.

Make sure to allow enough time to checkout and travel between stores. Rushing last minute leads to poor decisions. Build in some buffer so you don’t sacrifice good deals trying to make it to “just one more store” at closing time. Know when to walk away.

Avoid Getting Swept Up By The Mob

As the day wears on, crowds get bigger and more aggressive in their pursuit of discounts. Don’t get caught up in the mass hysteria. Remain calm and don’t abandon your strategy and common sense. If a situation feels too chaotic, unsafe, or you’re overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to call it quits early.

Stand your ground when waiting in line or navigating congested aisles. Pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your valuables secure. Be patient and courteous to staff who likely have been dealing with unruly mobs for hours.

Set Limits On Impulse Purchases

Even with thorough planning, the lure of impulse buys will be strong. Build in some room in your budget for spontaneous purchases, but set firm limits to maintain control. Allow yourself one or two impromptu grabs, but force yourself to wait and think over bigger purchases not on your list.

Avoid grabbing every shiny object in your path just because it’s marked down. Be selective and strategic by targeting unplanned purchases that truly bring you joy and serve a purpose in your life. If the impulse lingers after leaving, reevaluate if you really need it.

Take Time To Evaluate Large Purchases

The frenzied environment of Black Friday makes it easy to make expensive purchases that seem like great deals without taking the time to properly evaluate them. If you are planning to spend a lot, force yourself to take a breather first before swiping that credit card.

Think over the purchase and make sure you really need the item, not just buying it because of the deep discount. Take time to thoroughly inspect the item for any defects or missing parts. Read the fine print of the sale terms. Don’t make big buys in haste that you’ll later regret.

Use Cash Back Apps

To offset costs, make sure to use cash back websites and apps when shopping online or in person. Retailers provide a small percentage of sales back to customers through sites like Rakuten or apps likeIbotta. These rebates add up, especially on big purchases. Even just getting 1% or 2% back goes a long way towards making deals even sweeter or recovering some costs.

Just make sure to activate the offers before purchasing and sync up your account. For online sales, go through the app’s website instead of directly to the retailer. For in-store purchases, upload a photo of your receipt through the app to verify qualifying purchases.

Avoid Impulse Delivery Subscriptions

In the excitement of finding gifts for others, it’s easy to get lured into monthly delivery subscription boxes for yourself. While these can be a fun occasional treat, signing up for multiple subscriptions in the spirit of holiday shopping can add up fast. Avoid falling into this trap.


Occasional impulse buy of a single box? Fine. Long-term commitment? Slow down and think it over after the holidays. Don’t get hooked on subscriptions just because the first month is deeply discounted or comes with extras. The ongoing costs may not align with your budget in the long run.


With some smart planning and discipline, you can absolutely participate in Black Friday deal hunting while avoiding overspending and debt. Just remember to set limits for yourself before hitting the stores. Focus on needs over wants. And take breaks to reassess if you’re sticking to plan. If you can do that, you’ll score great deals without buyers remorse or financial hangover.


If you find yourself struggling with debt, know that you’re not alone. Our experienced debt settlement experts at Second Start Financial are here to help you take control of your finances. We can provide customized debt relief solutions, negotiate with creditors on your behalf, and help you develop a plan to become debt-free. Don’t wait – contact us today for a free consultation and start your journey towards financial freedom!


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At Second Start Financial, we are dedicated to helping you regain control of your life. Our mission is to provide you with effective debt relief solutions that address your unique financial situation. With a team of committed debt specialists, we work tirelessly to deliver the results you need to move forward with confidence.

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