Black Friday blues? Start thinking about next year right now!

According to the National Retail Federation, the average person spent $407.23 during Black Friday in 2013.  Think about your situation in 2014:  Did you spend more or less than the average?  Grab your receipts if you’re not sure.  Don’t be afraid.  And if the thought of going through your receipts and adding up what you spent gives you anxiety, then please read on.

Now that you know what you spent, how did you pay for it?  Did you use cash?  A credit card?  If you’re going to be paying for Black Friday for months, ask yourself these questions so that you don’t make the same mistake next year:

  1. Did your Black Friday purchases comprise of wants or needs?
  2. How many of the items were purchased solely because they were on sale?  Would you have bought them otherwise?
  3. Were these purchases for you or gifts for others?
  4. If you bought gifts for multiple people, how much did you spend on each person?  Is that amount in line with what you expected?  Did you miss anyone on your list?
  5. Based on all of these things, when should you start saving for next year’s Black Friday?

It’s not too early to put money away now for next year.  In fact, if you look at your receipts and think that you might spend near that same amount next year, divide that amount by 52 (if you’re going to save weekly), or twelve if you’re going to save monthly.  If you pay yourself that amount each week/month, you’ll have a good little kitty ready for Black Friday 2015.  And if you use FitFin, it’ll be even easier because you can create a new budget in seconds (you might call it Black Friday–pretty original, I know).  Then you can simply tweak one of your existing budgets (or a few of them if you want) by the amount that you want to save for Black Friday to keep your overall monthly budget consistent.  To do this, just go to your Budgets Overview, click on the budget bar that you want to adjust, then hit the Edit button and change the amount. Again, this takes seconds.

The reason you can do this is because you already know what you spend each month by using FitFin.  Now you’re using the same concept by calculating your 2014 Black Friday spend and making educated predictions on if this year’s experience will reflect next year’s spending.  Then once you have that knowledge, you can start saving now.

By using this simple strategy, you can be assured that next year’s Black Friday won’t put you in the red.

If you’re not using FitFin, you can sign up for free at www.fitfin.com.   It’s a great way to get a handle on your day-to-day expenses!

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