Black Friday is almost here!  It’s Friday, but not “Black Friday” yet.  Before visiting the brick-and-mortar giants next week, look at some tips to empower you.

The tips below could save you hundreds of $$$$ and, for some, thousands.  For example:

1)  Did you know there are strategists who study consumer behaviors and arrange items in strategic places throughout the stores to cause you to shop for items not on your list to purchase?  Alike online shopping has its hooks that could snag you.  Have you ever started looking for one item, and popups grab your attention?  You’re either enticed to purchase something you weren’t looking for or lured off track altogether.

2)  The music is also a part of the plan to entice consumers to shop longer.  When you have checked off the items on your list, you’re less likely to spend more if you stay off the carpet, where you’ll find rounds of merchandise.  Lastly, walk the store’s perimeter or follow the clear path to the door.

3)  Have you ever wondered why the clearance racks are in the back of the store?  Yes, the stores are making room for new merchandise.  However, consumers must walk past all of the new merchandise to get discounted items.  If clearance is your focus, keep walking through; otherwise, you might purchase more than anticipated.

There are many other tips, but in addition to these reminders, shop with a plan, stay focused, and utilize the financial disciplines you have worked hard to develop.

Christine Roebuck, Financial Strategist