I’ve been holding fast to a personal rule for many years now, that once you flip the calendar page to October, the personal spending should taper off steeply. The reason I came up with this rule many years ago was because of the whole holiday shopping mania. Every time this comes up in conversation, other people have said that they have the same rule, but only after Black Friday, The shopping addict’s complete bender of a day, in all of its retail glory…
I have always included both October and November because of extended family, and knowing that I’d rather be saving money for some nicer things for loved ones, or spending the extra shopping time making something special by hand to go with store-bought things….
Now that I have little ones, though, much of the foaming-at-the-mouth retail frenzy cannot be staved off. Every year, I do more and more of my holiday shopping online, and the return is exponential, especially when you factor in the lines, parking, and having to try to purchase “Santa” items right under their noses. Of course a sitter is an option if you have the cash, but I usually don’t.
So, what about Black Friday, you say? The day after Thanksgiving, all the stores have these amazing deals that are so awesome, people are camping out in front of the store to get in and buy them before they run out. Well , if you like to do the shopping online, and also want these deals, there is a really cool site, black-friday.net, that can help you tremendously in getting these deals without having to show up at the store, practice judo to get the toys, stand in line, and hit the next place, all before the rooster crows. They have several large chain stores listed, offering deals at Toys R Us, and they watch for the black Friday ads to show up, post them on the site, and also keep up with discount codes to use in the shopping carts of all the retailers, to save you even more cash.
I’m already set up with email reminders, too. I was really impressed with the list of stores where they have deals. They have at least ten of my favorite places on the planet to drop a few bucks in the list. Another cool thing about doing the holiday shopping online is that everything shows up in a plain brown wrapper, which makes it even easier to keep the innocently curious from getting into before you are able to gift wrap and camouflage the good stuff to save the name of the fat red-coated guy in the sled!