The biggest holiday shopping day of the year is just 16 days away. This year feels a little different as so many stores are now advertising “pre-Black Friday deals”. Personally, I’ve tried to limit my early shopping because I find that when I start shopping too far in advance, I always end up spending more. I’ll forget what I bought, or I keep scrolling online and find more gifts that I want to buy for friends and family. I’m sure I’m not the only one. So, in the crazy new shopping world how do we get our wallets Black Friday (or holiday shopping season) ready? 

As with most things, I recommend making a list and planning out your shopping. Break it down by  

  1. Who you need gifts for
  2. What you want to give them
  3. Your total budget for that person

And let me stop you right here because I know you’ll be tempted to skip that last part. Set a spending limit for each person rather than one overall totally. Why? Well, with the endless sales and ease of online shopping it’s easy to spend your total budget on a few people and then realize you still have half of your list to shop for.  

Another way to prepare your wallet is to make sure you leave some room in the budget to buy something for yourself. Wait, did I just did tell you to spend more money? Yes. And here’s why- while doing all this shopping you are going to see so many items that you are going to want to buy for yourself. When most people try to restrict themselves from buying anything this typically backfires, and they go in the opposite direction and overspend. But when you factor yourself into that gift giving budget this expense won’t be a surprise sending you into a tailspin of overspending. Maybe you’ve had your eye on a new bag or need new skincare products. I recommend getting an idea ahead of time of what it is you want to treat yourself to.  

Lastly, start planning for next year. You read that right. Keep track of what you spend on gifts and holiday activities starting Black Friday and through the month of December. Starting in January, I encourage you to open a separate account you are contributing to each month or each paycheck. When the holiday season rolls around next year you will already have the funds set aside.  

Caroline Tanis