Two of the biggest shopping days of the year—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—prove irresistible for many Canadians looking to score deals on holiday gifts. With such great bargains, it can be hard to say no to that extra gift for your neighbour’s kid, their best friend and their best friend’s dog.
The good news? You don’t have to blow your savings just because that high-tech espresso machine is on sale. With a little willpower and planning, you can resist the impulse to overspend. Use these tips to help stay on track.
- Make a list—and, yes, a budget.
Whether you’re buying for yourself or your loved ones, shopping without a plan is a recipe for financial disaster. To prevent impulse buying, take the time to create a detailed list: include information about who you’re buying for and how much you’re willing to spend. If you don’t think your neighbours need to be on your gift list, don’t add them last minute when you see a range of cute ornaments they’d love. Remember, it’s not a good deal unless it’s something you’d need to pick up anyway.
- Do a little research.
Don’t go in unprepared. Instead, know what you’re looking to buy. Do you want books? Tech accessories? Clothing? Find websites that promise Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals—think 30% off new-release novels or buy-one-get-one-free sweaters—and plan your gifts accordingly. Also have an idea of the value of each item and decide what percentage off will make the gift a smart buy.
- Compare deals.
Before you spend a cent, do your detective work to find the best price on sale day. Even if you thought you wanted to get a bathrobe from your favourite retailer, you might be able to get a better deal on a similar robe somewhere else—especially if a website or store is offering surprise deals that weren’t clearly advertised.
- Buy online.
If you’re easily influenced by in-store salespeople and signage, you’re short on time or hate crowds, online shopping is a great option. It’s often easier to avoid distractions and impulse purchases when you don’t have to walk through chaotic aisles or stand next to various trinkets at the cash register.
- Keep track of your spending and watch for duplicate charges.
Tally your purchases and monitor your account balance through online or mobile banking. Also, be sure to watch out for double charges. With a Capital One® credit card, customers can get notified about duplicate charges on their cards that might otherwise get missed.
Once you’ve nabbed every item on your list, stop browsing websites and sales emails, put your credit card away and avoid those feelings of buyer’s remorse.
Visit the Capital One website for more information on their products and features.