Chuck Bentley Answers: How Can Do My Christmas Shopping This Year When Money is Tight?

Dear Chuck,

Money is tight for Christmas this year. Any tips for shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?

Looking for Deals 

Dear Looking for Deals,

You can search for articles pointing you to the “best deals” on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but be aware that many of those articles are really just sponsored advertising made to look like neutral journalism.

My biggest tip is: don’t let Black Friday create a Red New Year! That is, avoid going into debt.

Retailers are highly dependent on holiday sales. Black Friday supposedly got its name because it was the day many went from being “in the red” to “in the black.” It is the day when profits finally appeared on the books.

(Courtesy of Christian Economic Forum)

This has been a very difficult year for many retailers. They desperately need sales. Potential lockdowns have motivated customers to buy gifts early to avoid disruptions in physical shopping or online shipping.

BlackFriday.com predicts, “a strong uptick in retail spending during Black Friday week compared to the rest of 2020 – but not compared to recent Black Fridays…if shoppers are out looking for deals, we predict they are more likely to comb for specific needed items (a new fridge, a new laptop, a new phone) rather than shop indiscriminately for less-necessary items, such as clothing, beauty products, and gadgets.”

Due to Covid concerns or restrictions, many retailers are anticipating a very large Cyber Monday, the day when online retailers offer steep discounts on certain items. But, don’t assume you are getting a good deal just because it is marked down online. Be sure to factor in shipping costs and do your research on any significant purchases.

A Few Shopping Tips 

It’s easy to spend money you don’t currently have to buy gifts, or just to be done with the chaos of Christmas shopping. But taking the easy route now will prove to be far more stressful for you come January when your credit card bills arrive. That’s why it is important to take some time to determine how much you can really afford.

Don’t presume future income will cover your credit card bills. We don’t know what the future holds. 2020 has proven that!

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley

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