With the recent changes in my employment, it’s become pretty darn important for us to not only keep to our budget, but to reduce our budget as much as we can in order to keep from sending our finances into the whirlpool of red ink that is broke.
One of the ways that we’ve got to cut back, because of the time of year, is in our Christmas present shopping. We’ve already come to the agreement with our extended family that we wouldn’t be exchanging presents with them. However, with the wonderful consumerism myth that is Santa Claus, it’s a bit more difficult to completely cut off the kids from any presents whatsoever. With that in mind, we decided that we’d still be getting the kids a few things, but would have to take advantage of as many great deals and coupons as we possibly could. And, you all know what that means.
As a general rule, I avoid the masses of people that throng to the Black Friday specials. I don’t have the patience for all those people rushing around the aisles, searching for that one last electronic door buster special, or digging through the mountain of cheap DVDs in the middle of the aisle. But, when you’ve got to save some money, sometimes you’ve gotta take a few risks. Late Thursday night, after all the turkey had been eaten, we went through the flyers for the stores and decided on a few things that we should pick up to give to the kids.
Luckily, for us, our kids are still young enough that they are satisfied more by quantity, than by amount, so it’s easy for us to buy a few bundled items and pack them individually and still come away with as much present opening satisfaction as we would have otherwise.
We took the tips that I wrote a week or so ago, and put them to good use. We went into the day with a detailed idea of what it was we were looking for, and where we were looking for it. We had a list of what we wanted to get, and a budget to spend on that list. If the stores were out of something, we didn’t substitute with the similar, more expensive, item that was conveniently set up next to the empty shelves.
And, we conquered Black Friday. We stuck to our list, only buying one extra item. We not only kept to our budget, but we beat it! When we were done with our busy morning of shopping, we had everything on our list, and we’d spent less than $150! Christmas will be a little lighter under the tree than it has been in previous years, but I’m pretty sure the kids will be happy with it, and we’ll all have a great time, like usual.
Now, we just have to avoid the impulse purchases that will come today in all the Cyber Monday emails and ads, and we’ll be all set. But, we conquered Black Friday, and that’s something!
How did you all do this Black Friday? Did you go out and shop with the masses? Did you stay home and polish off the turkey leftovers?