Christmas is less than 90 days away and many retailers are already running promotions and even early Black Friday deals. (The most relevant one offers a $399 tablet for only $99 on 13th of October from 8.50 am PST). It may sound too early for you, and it is, but in fact this is the perfect time to prepare your budget and with a few tips, to save $1,000 for the Black Friday shopping.
A recent survey by RetailMeNot found that consumers plan to spend an average of $1,500 on Christmas gifts this year. In comparison, the average amount, spent on gifts, food, decorations, etc., by shoppers over the 2013 holiday season, was $730, according to data by the US National Retail Federation. If you add vacation costs, it would swell to several thousand dollars. But there are ways to stay within your budget while at the same time buying almost anything you want. Most people simply do their shopping on Black Friday, which falls on November 28th this year, hoping to get greater discounts. And to maximize the meaning of the seasonal sales, you can cut back on your other spending, starting now. There are several budgeting strategies that will help you save $1,000 and have some extra cash for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
The easiest thing to do is to save from your meals. Stop dining out and forget about coffee shops – it may be tough, but it’s worth it. This will save you (at least) $400. Another and maybe even more effective way is to save on your grocery shopping – instead of buying food every day and ending up throwing up half of it, plan your meals in advance. Stock up on frozen and nonperishable foods – Amazon is a great option since it offers a Subscribe & Save service that grants you 15%-20% off groceries. There are also $10 coupons and various other discounts on food items you can use. Overall, at Amazon you can get, on average, up to 45%-50% off your grocery items.
Another way is to opt for a non-contract mobile phone plan if it works for you. Don’t immediately upgrade to iPhone 6, stick to your old phone and with a prepaid non-contract plan you can save up to $100 per month. Ditch your cable TV provider – online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon’s Fire TV or through Google Chrome are much more affordable and even better solutions in certain aspects. With these, you get extra $50-$200 each month.
Forget about the shopping mall – search for daily or weekly discounts off- and online. There are specialized discount and outlet shopping websites such as 6pm.com (for clothing, shoes, accessories), as well as various sources of info about promotions and sales such as top-holiday-deals.com. Bargain shopping may save you hundreds of dollars.
There are plenty other things you can do to save extra for Black Friday such as ending up your gym membership (jogging and exercises at home work beautifully), getting a better deal on your auto insurance, and so on. Of course, the savings will vary depending on how much you spend on this and that, but on average, you should be able to save $1,000 just by following these simple tips.