It’s that time of the year again. Black Friday is about four days away, and brands have already begun to churn out deals. Black Friday, officially, is the Friday after Thanksgiving in The United States with brands offering huge discount sales and promotions. With time, Black Friday has become popular in many other countries as well. Although it is a great day to get good deals, some people might be filled with regrets in the coming weeks because they overindulged and overspent money shopping. The deals could look so good that you would not want to miss out on them, but do you really have to buy all of that?
In this article, I will be sharing some tips that help me, generally, in having better shopping habits. I am able to get items that I like, be happy and not feel regrets days after. I understand that it is a journey; I sometimes fail on this, but I think this Black Friday is a good time to try picking up better habits.
Tips for healthier shopping habits
- Planning: I usually draft a list before I go shopping so I am very clear on what I need to buy. I also arrange them in order of priority, beginning with items that are of most priority to me at that time. This helps me to not be left stranded if I run out of resources (time or money). This list is drafted over time, not just on the day I intend to go shopping so I don’t forget anything. I have it as a note on my phone and anytime a new item crosses my mind or I run out of anything, I immediately add it to that list. I began drafting my list for items I intend to look out for, and possibly purchase, on Black Friday about a month ago. This will help me to prioritize items I really need above some fancy items I might just see on the spot.
- Budgeting: On my shopping list, I try to estimate the cost of each item so I have sufficient money. I also keep some extra money not accounted for, in case prices have risen or I find something I need that was not on the list. For Black Friday, it helps to note the original price, so you can compare on Black Friday to make sure you are getting a good deal. Some stores are known to be dishonest and actually increase the supposed original prices on Black Friday, so a 20% discount might still be more expensive than the original price when it is not Black Friday season.
- Asking yourself why: Before I buy anything that I did not plan to buy initially, I try to take a moment to ask myself why. Why do I want this thing? Do I need it? Is it just a want? Is it necessary? Is it worth it? Can I comfortably afford it right now? Does it fit my style or personality? Is it a good representation of me? I try to ask myself these questions and answer honestly so that I am sure I am not just getting it because some other person has it or thinks it is cool. Everything does not need to have a “serious” reason before you buy it. It is very okay to get an item because you think it is beautiful. That is a valid reason. It should just be something you want for yourself, and not just to feel among or due to external pressure.
- General personal self-control: This is seeing an item that is cute but understanding that you don’t necessarily need it or you probably cannot comfortably afford it at the time, then dropping it. It is very helpful so you don’t buy many items that you never get to use or buy an item and your finances suffer a lot for a long time.
That being said, I am not perfect; I sometimes overshop or buy unnecessary things. One major thing I am still working on is comfort shopping. This means shopping when I’m emotional: sad, stressed, tired, frustrated, lonely, happy. When I go shopping based on very strong emotions, there is a tendency for me to overspend, because it is not well planned. I tend to buy what I don’t need, make wrong decisions and sometimes regret it later.
I hope these tips are helpful to you on Black Friday and in the coming weeks. As the holiday season approaches, it is important to make the best of our resources and craft a happy life for ourselves, despite the many insatiable needs and wants, hiked prices, and limited resources.
Thank you for reading.