A Holiday Shopping Three-Step Challenge

If you’re like millions of Americans, one of your after Thanksgiving dinner activities tomorrow will be making your holiday shopping list and browsing the Black Friday savings deals that are published in advance.  Your excitement will build as you anticipate the first store door opening on Friday morning.  You will prepare to feel the adrenaline rush as you dash in for the best buys of the season.  You are ready to save!  Or are you?

For most of us, we feel a great sense of accomplishment in finding great deals during the holidays.  In fact, many of us will buy an item that isn’t even on our list because the deal is just too good to pass up.  So, are we actually saving or just spending?  Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to find good deals on those items actually on our list, and save the rest?

My three step challenge for you this Black Friday (and the entire holiday shopping season) is this:

  1. Make a list of those items you wish to buy for each person on your shopping list – before you leave home – and set a limit on what you can afford to spend.
  2. Find the best deals you can find on those items you have listed, but avoid buying additional items just because the deal is too good to pass up.
  3. If you find that you have money left over in your budget after your shopping list is completed, invest in yourself.  Put the extra dollars towards either a short-term savings goal (like a car) or a long-term savings goal (like retirement).  Add the cash to a savings account, investment account, or to your IRA or ROTH IRA (if you haven’t already contributed the maximum amount allowable this year).

Meeting the three step challenge will help you to cross of all of the items on your gift list, feel the accomplishment of finding great deals, and invest in yourself all at the same time!  So get ready, get set, and SAVE!