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Happy Monday! Are you all still feeling the turkey-fueled calling for naptime like I am?
Today is Cyber Monday, the day online retailers slash prices and attempt to create a feeding frenzy without the Black Friday lines and 3 am doorbusters.
As someone who attempts to limit my spending, I try to avoid too many hyped-up sales throughout the year. But there is also a cost-saving reality in play around Black Friday and Cyber Monday that make me reconsider my tendency to ignore big sales.
Sure, this past Black Friday I avoided online sales and in-store promotions. But the reasoning was in large part due to the fact that we were visiting family in New England and our time with them is precious. But there are some great reasons to check out the big sale days!
So, when might Cyber Monday (or any other big sale) make sense?
1. An Item You Need is On Sale
Many items go on sale periodically and I encourage anyone looking for a big ticket item to do research, wait a bit, check a used/second-hand market, and try to find a way to save a bit when making the purchase. And for some items, sales like Cyber Monday are the perfect opportunity to find that new air-conditioning unit or Insta-Pot at a great price.
2. You Choose to Purchase an Item
If you have heard an episode of Paula Pant’s Afford Anything Podcast, you have heard the line “You can afford anything, but not everything, every decision you make is a trade-off against something else”.
Guess what that means?!? It is YOUR choice! If you have saved, resulting in $300 available for discretionary spending, why not get that gadget or gizmo you have been eyeing all year at a discounted price? Sure, you could do a lot with that $300, but it is up to you to prioritize your use of money. And some gadgets can add a whole lot of value to your life (I’m looking at you, refurbished Garmin GPS watch I bought earlier this year 😉 )!
3. It Can be Easier to Shop Online
Listen, I try to be frugal, but I am not all out “save every single penny in any way possible”. Case in point, on Saturday I found a great deal on athletic wear (sports bras, shorts, and leggings) for $10-$20/piece. I practically live in workout clothes and need a few new pieces of athletic wear to replace a few ratty, overstretched items that have long overstayed their welcome.
Sure, I could scour thrift stores with my 2-year-old in tow for something that fits in the $5 range, but I chose to sit on my couch while our son peacefully napped and spend a few dollars on an online sale. The items will show up on my doorstep and I will try them on, keep what I want, and return the rest to our local store. Online shopping convenience at its best!
A Note of Caution for Cyber Monday
While Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for savings and easy shopping, it is also a great opportunity to fall into a few financial traps.
1. Avoid Browsing and Impulse Buys
If you plan to check the Cyber Monday sales, I suggest taking a few minutes to plan ahead and write down what you are looking for. It is amazing how quickly a $40 cart can turn into a $400 cart full of items that sound good at the time but are just going clutter the house. Try to stick to a plan and look for items you already know you want/need, avoiding the aimless browsing which can lead to wasted time and money.
2. Spend Within Your Means
I would hate to see someone go into credit card debt over some flash sale. To me, a few items on sale just aren’t worth the price of the long-term financial and mental stress of credit card debt.
3. Spend on What Matters
This ties to the Impulse Buy caution above but take a moment to check your priorities and reasons for adding something to your cart today.
Is it something that will add value to your life? Or are you buying it to keep a certain “status”?
Will you regret the item or wish you had saved for something else in a week/month/year?
Taking a moment to access your reasons for a purchase can help to keep you on track with your priorities and goals.
To Cyber Monday or Not to Cyber Monday
Ultimately, the choice is yours. While I’ll caution anyone to avoid impulse buys and I certainly hope no one goes into debt over crazy sales, the same sales can also create an opportunity to save money on something you want and/or need. And that is not something I’m about to ban you from 😉
Anyone planning to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich