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10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

The biggest shopping day of the year is just around the corner, and while many people have visions of turkey and stuffing dancing in their heads, you can be getting ready for some truly great deals. With only a few days to go until the big day, check out the Black Friday hacks below to make sure that you’re armed and ready to go. All of these hacks cover ways that you can keep more money in your pocket and avoid the exhaustion and stress that often accompanies shopping with crowds full of people. Enjoy!

1. Do Your Research

It’s impossible to be in 5 places at once, so you’ll need to prioritize. Do you want to get a great deal on a TV or were you hoping to score a power tool on sale for that upcoming bathroom renovation? Either way, you should read through all of the catalogs for the major stores that carry the product that you want. This will help you to be in the right place at the right time.

2. Get Some Team Spirit

I said you couldn’t be in 5 places at once, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get together with friends and family members to split up and go to different stores. You can send your spouse to purchase a new dining room table while you head over to get the bike your kid has been asking for.  That way you can get everything on your list all at great prices.

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3. Go To Bed Early

There’s no glory in shopping while bleary eyed and exhausted. Instead of staying up late and waking up early to get in line, try going to bed at a reasonable hour. This would work especially well if your family has your Thanksgiving meal in the late afternoon. That way you can go to bed as early as 8 or 9p.m.

4. Be Efficient

It might sound overboard, but when you have hundreds of people shopping at the same store as you, you have to shop efficiently. This includes going to the store ahead of time and finding out what aisle your product is in. That way, you won’t have to worry about spending needless time searching when you could be headed home to enjoy your new gadget.

5. Use Social Media

Many shoppers and stores will be using social media to share coupon codes and deals. Make sure you are subscribed to your favorite stores so you are aware of any coupons that can be scanned in using your phone.

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6. Shop Local

It’s tempting to shop at places that are big box stores with glossy ads. However, if you know there’s a local home improvement store or an electronic store, call them the day before Black Friday and ask if their deal is going to be any better than the ones advertised at bigger stores. That way, you can support local businesses and get great deals at the same time.

7. Pack Snacks

I know I sound like a mom saying this, but packing snacks is the best hack I can give you. Seriously, you could be waiting to check out for over an hour at some of the bigger department stores, so keep your energy up by bringing a handful of peanuts or popcorn to enjoy.

8. Be A Night Owl Instead of an Early Bird

The early bird may get the worm, but if you love staying up late, that could actually be to your advantage. Many stores will start their deals at midnight, so you can easily shop from midnight until 2AM and then sleep in the next day.

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9. Read The Fine Print

Many stores will advertise a price, but it might only be valid for a certain period of time or certain part of the day. To avoid disappointment, read the fine print. Also, bring your ads with you so that you can prove a certain price. This is also beneficial because many stores offer a price guarantee. If you can bring in a competitor’s ad, you can often get what you want for even less.

10. Stick to the List

Sales can be addicting like something shiny to a goldfish. We can go in planning to only buy one thing and then get caught up in the excitement of great deals and buy more than we can afford. To ensure that you don’t overspend, have a friend or family member keep you accountable. Even better, only bring the exact amount of cash that you will need to buy a particular product.

With this list of hacks, you should be well on your way to actually enjoying your Black Friday shopping excursions without the exhaustion or the regret experienced by many customers. Good luck and have fun!

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Featured photo credit:  Photo of pretty happy woman via Shutterstock

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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