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Black Friday is coming up fast -- are you ready?! It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, and while you may be tempted to swipe your credit card faster than you inhaled that turkey the night before, you should really hold off… at least until you’re done reading this anyway. Financial expert Bill Rancic shares his tips below on what to buy now, and what you should wait on for a better deal down the road.
But First: Make a Plan + Stick to It
Make two lists. One should be of everyone you must buy holiday gifts for (your kids, your aunt Sally who will never, ever speak to you again if she doesn’t get that new coffee mug, you get our drift). The second list is a bonus list. Let’s say you had the willpower to stay under budget and you’ve checked off everyone on the first list, then you can dip your toes into the second list with whatever money is left. Anyone you can’t fit in your overall budget gets a homemade gift (like banana bread, because who doesn’t like banana bread?), or you can donate your time to them. Think offering to babysit or shovel snow.
If really want to include the bonus list of folks, figure out how much of your budget should go to each list. If you have a big family, use 1/2 of your budget on them, 1/4 on friends and friends’ children, and 1/4 for coworkers. Here are some ideas for what to get them.
KNOW WHAT TO BUY + WHEN
BUY NOW: Pajamas
Many stores will have whole sets of pajamas on sale for $10. Let’s say your budget is $1,000, if you make pajamas your gift for five family members, you’ve only spent $50 or 5% of your budget!
BUY LATER: Game Consoles
These are always hot items around the holiday season, so don’t expect stores to offer big discounts. You’ll most likely have to wait several months into the new year before you see prices drop on them. Consider buying older models -- you’ll see steep discounts and they’ll still offer great performance.
BUY NOW: Toys
Buy these on Black Friday and save up to 50%! If you wait until right before Christmas, the prices will go up and you’ll have to pay a premium. You can also find great deals on toys on Cyber Monday.
BUY LATER: TVs
In order to get you in the store on Black Friday, some retailers purchase “one-off” or “derivative” TVs specifically for that day. They may not be as high-quality, and many TVs are discontinued mid-December, so if you’re willing to wait, Rancic says the best deals pop up about a week before the big annual February football game that everyone in the U.S. goes crazy for (you know what we mean).
Bill Rancic's debut novel "First Light" hit shelves November 1. Hear more about it in the video below.