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By Marnie Brodersen
Posted Nov 18, 2019
Posted Nov 18, 2019
Black Friday - more like Black Eye Day! We've all seen the videos of people throwing elbows and pulling hair, just to get that extra $10 off an X-Box. Everyone loves to save money (yes, even celebrities!), but is braving Black Friday the best way to go about it? Probably not. That's why we're recommending that you ban Black Friday and try these money-saving ideas instead.
Say Hello to Cyber Monday
You like PJs? Who doesn't? Stay in them while you shop from the comfort of your computer chair. As Business Insider points out, a good rule of thumb is that Black Friday is best for big-ticket items while Cyber Monday is more geared towards deals on technology and smaller gifts. And a big misconception regarding Black Friday is that there are no good deals online that day when, in reality, many retailers start putting their deals online right after Thanksgiving (although the deals will be slightly better on Cyber Monday).
Yes, There's an App For That
There are iPhone and Android apps that are designed to change your spending behavior and essentially reward you for shopping conservatively. Mind-blowing, right? The possibilities are seemingly endless when you simply Google it, but Nerd Wallet recommends these four:
- Qapital forces those who aren't great savers to automate your savings, as it rounds purchases to the nearest dollar and moves the amount into an FDIC account of your choosing.
- Acorns is a similar tool but it takes the rounded-up amount out of your checking and puts it into an investment.
- Digit does what many of us don't have the discipline to do, as it calculates what you should be saving based on your income and transfers that into an FDIC account (You can even earn a 1% savings bonus every 3 months.).
- Chime is a mobile-only bank that offers automatic savings features and, unlike traditional banks, there are no overdraft fees.
While these aren't holiday-oriented saving methods, per se, they'll help you save all year long so that you'll have more on hand to spoil your family.
Cutting corners and saving those pennies can really add up, so the holidays are a very important time to pay close attention to where your money is going and to get creative.
If you are known for your massive overspending in the grocery store (many of us are!), consider ordering groceries online. That way, you're not visually affected by what you see while wandering the aisle (especially if you're hungry!). And people often think of food delivery sites like Postmates and GrubHub as a splurge but, once you subscribe, you'll often see great discounts and promo codes. Some of them even have subscriptions so you pay a flat fee for delivery but if you order from them about three times, you've already recouped this money and then some.
Other simple things you can do to get a bit creative with saving money are:
- Brew your own coffee and skip StealYourBucks.
- Avoid going out to dinner or, if you do, find a good happy hour.
- Thinking of making an online purchase? Give yourself 24 hours and then decide if you really need it.
- Walk, bike or carpool to work to save on gas.
- Try giving yourself a weekly budget and carry that money in cash.
- Scour your online subscriptions and cut anything you're not using.
Make MORE Money
Again, this isn't saving, per se, but it is a way to have more cash at your disposal to get your family members what they really want this year. And quite frankly, there's never been a better time to do this. From driving for Uber or Lyft and shopping with an app that makes you money like Ibotta to putting clothes for sale on thredUP or Poshmark and delivering food for a site like Postmates, the possibilities are right there at your frugal fingertips. Many people call these side hustles but, whatever you call them, millions of people are putting them to good use to subsidize their current incomes.
Start Shopping Early
A lot of people think they're beating the rush by starting their shopping on Black Friday but, really, the best way to get the best deals is to start now. Why? It's simple. You're giving yourself more time to comparison shop. Find out from your family members what they'd like this year, and you can set Google Alerts for those products. If you're buying presents the night before Christmas, you're likely paying top dollar as retailers have you just where they want you—in dire straits.
Consider Using a Single Credit Card
So many people have multiple credit and store cards going, and any financial expert will tell you that, unless you can pay off all these balances each month, this is never a good idea. You're paying more for each purchase with interest, and a lot of it if your credit cards have high annual percentage rates. Consider finding a credit card with a low APR (huge bonus if you get some sort of reward, like mileage points) and using this for all your purchases throughout the holiday season.
Channel Your Inner Deal Diva
Of course, this is a CertifiKID blog post so we'd be remiss if we didn't remind you of all the incredible deals we have going on nationwide. From discounted activities (experiential gifts are awesome!) and dining to various gifts and products, we're the top family-focused deal site in the nation.
Need inspiration for what to buy your loved ones this year? Check out our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!
CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!