Black Friday and Holiday Budget DON"Ts

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Black Friday and Holiday Budget DON"Ts
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 2:24pm

Many of us have been around DSG for more than a few Black Fridays, and holidays.  We all do really well the first half of the year, then comes Back to School, fall clothing, and the holidays to throw us back into the hole again.  Here are some tips that have helped me this time of year, feel free to add your own.

1.  Make a holiday list - who are you buying for, and what are you getting them, BEFORE setting out shopping.

2.  Use the sales to buy those items on the list above, not more just because it is "on sale." 

3.  USE CASH or debit, or another trick, buy the item using the store card you have uin order to get the discount, but right at the register, pay it back in cash. (I do this at Kohl's all the time.)  OR transfer the funds to that account immediately from your checking using online bill pay when you get home.

4.  For kids - how about pairing down the gift of toys, etc. and put half of what would have been spent in a 529 or other college savings plan?  It can be a tax saver for the giver in many cases, no toy has that advantage that I know of! 

5.  Self gifting: instead of buying yourself more "stuff" because you like it, deserve it or even "need" it (really work on WANT vs. NEED this time of year) why not consider giving yourself the gift of SAVINGS! 

Any other tips??



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 9:52pm

#1 saves time (which is why I've always done this) know what they say, time is money!

We have bought many gifts for our son from craigslist. Last year, we got an unopened box of Alphie (a robot that plays games) from a family that rec'd 2 as birthday presents. This year, we are getting a box of hockey guys for $8.

Just cut back in general. We used to buy nieces and nephews a toy & a clothing item - now we just buy a toy :)

Our children only get 1 toy from us and 1 from Santa. No need to go overboard.

Personally I would LOVE to decorate my ENTIRE home for xmas. The decorations brighten up my day - but I only buy them during the boxing day sales for the next year.


Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 9:45am

These are great guidelines. 

I've been making lists for years and sticking to the list.  While the majority of my shopping is done by Black Friday, I do hold back $100-$150 (from the holiday budget) for any last minute inspired gift ideas- maybe I see something not on the list and it is just perfect.  This year it is the Ipod touch- pretty good deal at Target.

Cash only is the key! 

To save on entertaining costs, host an alcohol or soda free holiday dinner /event 

We changed our thinking that the gifts we give don't need to be large gestures or expense.  As our parents are getting older ( grandparents too) they are not wanting stuff.   It is stamps for the great grandmas and something else more personal ( DS is making homemade soup for one great grandma and a I framed a photo of the other with all of her great grandchildren).  For our parents this year I picked out books.  They are all avid readers and always wait for paperbacks.  Newly released hardcovers in their favorite styles will be a hit.  I had budgeted $75 per parent/grandparent and came in much lower. 

For kids I also think experiences are a great gift.  Gift cards to the park district or paying for a session of a sport, science class ,etc.  My DS appreciates these things very much. 

I will admit that I indulge my child at holidays, but he's not spoiled, cares for and uses his things and I shop selectedly for things that will stand the test of time.  We do require that half of all money he receives goes into his savings account unles the giver specified it be used for a specific purpose.

Work secret Santas can be a money sucker.  Fun as it is, is it worth the money? 

I think it is also important to remember that a gift is not an obligation, but should be given willingly.  With this in mind you could potentially slim down your shopping list.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Sun, 11-25-2012 - 7:50am

I'm late to the party but wanted to say that I've stuck to these through the holiday so far.  I refuse to go Black Friday shopping though, there is nothing I need to get at such a discounted price that it is worth risking my personal safety.

I like to use the holiday sales to get things I want/need for the house.  I'm in bad need of new cutting boards and mixing bowls and I can get them discounted right now.  It's not as big ass toys or clothes but a discount is a discount.

I used my Old Navy card to get clothes for my nieces and with discounts I came in $10 under budget for each girl.  I paid the bill and that was that.  I'm getting my DD some clothes and transferring as well.  I did that with my JCP card until they did away with the rewards system for their card, I haven't pulled it out again.