Should You Set a Budget for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

While shoppers are looking forward to saving money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they should be careful not to overspend. Although the price cuts may be steep, there's only so far your wallet can go before you land into debt.

According to the National Retail Federation, each consumer plans on spending more than $800 this year for their holiday celebrations. With major shopping periods taking place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get presents in time for the holidays, you may be tempted to stretch your budget to get all the presents on your list. Although nothing should get in your way of buying the best gift for your loved ones, planning a budget for Black Friday and Cyber Monday could help you avoid going into debt for the holidays. 

The Benefits of a Budget
Whether you've made a budget for these shopping days before or you're just getting started, having a concrete spending restriction for products, stores and other items will make sure you don't pay more than your bank accounts and credit limits will allow. This is crucial as debt will only make your holidays even more stressful when they should be a time for celebration. A budget will also allow you to make more informed decisions by encouraging you to think about whether that purchase is worth it and if you will get the most value out of it. 

Consider making a budget that will break down the costs of how much you should spend either on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or both. You might choose to wait until Cyber Monday to get your hands on some amazing deals. But when you decide how you will budget, there's also the challenge of making sure you actually follow it. 

Here are three ways to stick to your budget during Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:

1. Set a Spending Limit for Loved Ones
You've probably already got your shopping list written down and know which presents you want to give to your loved ones. While you have the perfect present in mind, be sure to establish a spending limit for everyone you plan on buying a gift for. This way, you do not go overboard during shopping and you do not pay too much on any one person, which could potentially spare some hard feelings in the future. 

2. Look for Stores With Price-Matching Policies
Although you'll see plenty of things for sale in stores, it doesn't mean you'll get the best price overall. As you browse the stores, determine whether you could get a lower price for the same product somewhere else. Some retailers offer price-matching in which they will offer you the product you want at the same or lower price than what their competitors have on the sticker.

3. Buy Gift Cards to Set Boundaries
While gift cards are popular items to give to loved ones during the holidays, they might also be the key to making sure you do not stray from your budget. When you buy gift cards for yourself to spend, you are already setting aside money that you could budget toward purchases at your chosen retailers. As you are shopping around, you could check how much is left on the cards through logging into an account for the card or asking the salesperson at the register. When the money on the card is gone, that's your cue that you've met the maximum of your budget for that store.

With these tips, you will be better prepared to follow your budget and make sure you will get the presents you need to make your holidays complete.