Black Friday is not a piece of cake

But it can be, if you grab a piece of paper.

Halloween was less than two weeks ago, and now the traditional Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrived in New York. Meanwhile, Chicago experienced its first snowfall of the season. It’s this time of year when people start googling ‘Last Christmas.'

The Black Friday craze

But we’re not in the Christmas time yet. Not until the Thanksgiving dinner has finished, at least. Or, to put it differently, when Black Friday starts.

Not that long ago Black Friday mostly meant that people went to malls and stores and queued for hours in the cold to be the first customer and make sure that ridiculously underpriced TV.

There are still those that like to hunt for bargains outdoors, but more and more people do it in their living room on their laptops. According to Blackfriday.com, last year 44% of consumers did their Black Friday shopping online (although they still have Cyber Monday), whereas 40% went to the stores.

But the bottom line is - the Friday after Thanksgiving is for shopping. Hence the name: the most common explanation is that the day after Thanksgiving was the day when retailers’ books turned black. Before Excel, bookkeepers wrote profit in black and loss in red.

The tradition goes for decades, but only a few people can boast that they have found a bargain on Black Friday.

How to win on Black Friday?

Nothing beats a blank piece of paper. We can’t stress enough how important is planning in any financial decisions, not only in investment, retirement but also in everyday spending. If you track and plan every dollar you spend, you can save plenty every month.

Write down what you need and what’s your budget. That will help you buy the essential stuff for low prices. Otherwise, you’ll end up with plenty of unnecessary things and no money.

Plus, you can save plenty of time on Black Friday. With a shopping list all there is to do is to find the product, go to the cash register and leave the store.

‘Easy-peasy,' as Bob from ‘Stranger Things 2’ would say.

The same rule applies to online shops. If you know what you’re looking for, it takes just a couple of minutes to finish all your shopping.

Don’t think only about yourself

Remember that Black Friday is the best time to buy Christmas gifts for your friends and family, not only stuff for yourself. Decide what they need and do a little research where you can find the things that will make them smile.

You’ll still have to buy those presents, so it’s better to do it when those products are cheaper.

If you can buy all presents a month before the Christmas Day, you can consider yourself the master of Black Friday.

Black Friday tactics

Sometimes it’s better to spend more on one underpriced, yet a quality product, than buy plenty of stuff just because it was discounted.

Track the discounts. Retailers advertise their Black Friday offers way before the day comes. You’ll know in advance what you can buy and for how much. Some stores discount the same product but at a different rate. Research is your friend.

To check how much you’ll save with those Black Friday offers, feel free to use our tools for discounts. For example, this Discount Calculator.

Discount Calculator

If you got lucky and found out about a very special offer, you can check the Double Discount Calculator.

We also went full Xzibit and made this wonderful Triple Discount Calculator!

Triple Discount

Consider the Discount Calculator ‘pimped’.

Triple Discount Calculator

With those tactics and tools, you’ll most certainly earn the right to call yourself the ‘Black Friday ninja.'