- Come up with a budget
- Frugal living
- Make a mindful shopping list
- Bring back the barrier
- Say no to fomo
The shopping day of the year is almost upon us: Black Friday 2021. The day after Thanksgiving, this year on the 26th of November, has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States since the early 50s. Black Friday might be an American shopping phenomenon but in recent years European consumers have adopted it as their own. In 2019 Germany was the second biggest European Black Friday spender with an average spend of €245 per person, accumulating to a whopping total of 7.5 billion euro. Even though all the Black Friday deals seem like the chance of a lifetime and it’s a slippery slope. According to a survey by Nerdwallet, 29% of Americans who put their black Friday purchases on a credit card in 2020 hadn’t paid off their balances a year later. To avoid sliding into a pile of bills that will give you months of stress, headaches and regret, you should go about your shopping with a sense of caution and mindfulness.
Mindful shopping will help you to save on your next shopping trip. So, before you start plundering your savings accounts for 8k TVs and blenders that could power a speedboat, take a moment to think before you splurge. Here are 5 tips on how you can practice mindful living even on Black Friday 2021 and avoid a big black hole in your wallet or bank account.
1. Come up with a budget
Figure out what your budget is before you expose your vulnerable self to all the deals and offers because what you can afford is not dependent on how much you really want to have something. You know how creatively persuasive your own mind can be in the heat of the moment. The easiest way to avoid this is by not giving it the opportunity. Find ways to actively demarcate your budget like putting it on a separate account or install a maximum spending limit. Anything to create barriers for yourself and give the rational part of your brain more time to get back in the driver's seat.
2. Frugal living
Frugal living is the act of being very intentional with your spending. If done properly, you'll be able to prioritize the things that matter to you most. You aren’t saving money if you purchase something you don’t need. Think about what you actually need by asking yourself “would I buy this if it wasn’t discounted?” That way you actually save money instead of spending money because it’s discounted. Be mindful that buying anything on sale is still spending—not saving.
3. Make a mindful shopping list
Old school handwritten lists are slowly becoming extinct in this digitally savvy world but are a powerful saving tool. Lists force you to focus on what you really want to buy and why. Take a moment to sit down and really make it a conscious process. Lists are an effective way to save money by avoiding impulse buys and allow you to reevaluate it later on. Remember to write them by hand and not in your notes on the go. That way you will be fully present. And last but not least, anticipating a purchase is half of the fun!
4. Bring back the barrier
These days paying for something is made so easy it’s often just one tap and a click away. Even though it’s very convenient you might consider putting back some barriers for yourself. Turn off Apple pay, test a spending limit or just bring cash on your mindful shopping trip.
5. Say no to FOMO
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is an effect on which businesses love to capitalize. This concept, which is commonly seen on social media, refers to the feeling of being unable to experience or have something someone else does. Thanks to social media, we are unavoidably made aware of the purchasing behaviour of influencers, role models and our peers. Especially short-term discounts feed the urge to give into the fear of missing out. By resisting the urge to compare yourself to others, you reduce the risk of emotional shopping which is key to mindful shopping.
Try to keep these five tips in mind during this year's bargain hunt to stay in control and make spending money a conscious process. Do you want to gain more valuable insights on how to become financially savvy? The heyfina app will offer a range of short bite sized modules that teach you all the financial know-how so you can start getting the most out of your finances. Subscribe on the right to get notifications when more posts like this are published in the future.