Welcome to this week’s newsletter black Friday edition! This week’s newsletter contains a juicy secret about black Friday deals 🏷️, a newsworthy story about holiday concerns 🎄, and Taylor’s tool for protecting her assets 🛡️ Read more to get the priceless tea!
🤫Let’s fill you in on the secret
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but you don’t want to be one of those people who just spends money and doesn’t get anything in return. Black Friday is a great opportunity to save money on things you need or want but may not usually buy. Here are some tips on how to make sure you get value for your money:
Know When the Sales Are
Before you do anything, you need to know when the sale will be going on. Stores tend to mark down their items on the day after Thanksgiving, with some offering deals for a few days or even weeks. If your favorite store is having a sale, chances are it’s going to last for at least several weeks before it wraps up and another store takes over.
This means that if you want to save money during Black Friday sales this year, now is the time to start planning!
Use Cash Back Apps
Cash-back apps are a great way to save money on your Black Friday purchases, but they can also be used year-round. Some cash-back apps will even offer you free gift cards or coupons when you sign up.
So, how do they work? You’ll find a wide range of different cash-back apps available — some of which can be used in stores and others that are only available online. Some cash-back apps even allow you to shop at multiple stores at the same time! You just have to link your credit card with each store’s respective app, then shop as usual and watch the rewards roll in over time.
If this sounds like something that would benefit from your attention, don’t spend another minute wondering how it works: simply go ahead and download one today!
Avoid Extra Fees and Interest
Credit cards with high-interest rates and annual fees can be a major drain on your budget. Avoiding these kinds of costs is as simple as paying attention to the fine print and reading your credit card statement every month. You can also avoid extra fees by using a credit card with rewards to pay off purchases.
Comparison Shop Before You Buy
Before you spend your money, it’s important to compare prices and make sure the deal is actually a good one. There are several ways to do this:
- Use a price comparison app like Google Shopping or PriceBlink. These search engines will provide you with the best current prices from online retailers, so you know you’re getting the best deal available.
- Check out the return policy of each retailer before purchasing an item (and also make sure there isn’t any kind of limited-time offer that would expire before returning). You don’t want to buy something just for it to be too big or small after trying it on!
- If possible, shop both in person and online during Black Friday sales at stores like Target or Walmart. While many stores only offer discounts up until midnight on Thanksgiving Day (so go early!), some online shops extend them into their first day back in business on Friday morning too—meaning they may continue offering savings throughout your entire shopping trip!
📰 In the news
The National Retail Federation says it expects holiday sales to increase by 3.7 percent this year over last year, or about $630 billion.
The NRF is a trade group, and as such it represents the interests of its members. As such, its predictions for holiday sales have historically been optimistic, which makes sense: The more money retailers think they can make during the holidays, the better their bottom lines will be.
But you should take these predictions with a grain of salt. It’s not just that they’re often overstated (the NRF has consistently overestimated holiday retail sales for eight years running); it’s also that there are other factors at play here—like the fact that some stores like Target, Walmart, and Dollar General are pushing back against Black Friday promotions by opening on Thanksgiving Day instead.
About 42 percent of consumers will begin their holiday shopping by Black Friday, while nearly a third are waiting until closer to December 25.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.
Americans are expected to spend a record $8 billion on Black Friday this year, up from $7.5 billion last year, according to preliminary data from Prosper Insights & Analytics, but it’s not just about buying more stuff—it’s about spending less money and being smart about how we do that.
“It seems like every year, people are saying: ‘I’m going to do my shopping earlier,'” says Scott Krugman, executive director of marketing at Staples (SPLS), which sells everything from office supplies to computers and furniture. “We’re seeing signs of that already in our stores.”
The store will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year—an hour earlier than last year—and close again at midnight Thursday night, then reopen for 24 hours straight until 8 p.m., when it closes again until Sunday evening at 9 p.m., when it reopens for another round until Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., before closing for good until late December or early January when Christmas sales begin in earnest once again
While some 38 percent of shoppers are concerned that they’re going to get sucked into impulse buys, almost two-thirds said they’ll likely find themselves doing so anyway.
While some 38 percent of shoppers are concerned that they’re going to get sucked into impulse buys, almost two-thirds said they’ll likely find themselves doing so anyway. It also appears that we may be willing to spend more on gifts than we think: while just 13 percent of people said they’d spend more than $1,000 during the holidays this year, a full 36 percent said it’s possible they could do just that.
Many people say they simply can’t afford additional holiday spending this year.
You may be wondering how consumers will respond to the big sales this year. After all, last year’s Black Friday weekend was one of the best ever for retailers. Many people say they simply can’t afford additional holiday spending this year.
On the other hand, some experts believe that consumer spending is still on track to increase slightly over last year’s levels—at least until December 31st rolls around and everyone has a chance to assess their finances with a new year in mind.
A black Friday sales slump might be coming
In light of the above, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your employer about how you can work at home. Similarly, if you have family or friends who are willing to help out while you’re sick or injured, they might be able to make arrangements with their employers as well. If not, think about where else in your life there could be opportunities for part-time work: tutoring? Babysitting? Dog walking? It’s also important to consider whether there are any services that could be improved upon around your home. Perhaps there is something that needs fixing or cleaning that would earn more money than usual during the holidays.
While we’ve talked about how Black Friday optimism may be misplaced this year and how finding other ways of making money can help keep us financially secure during the holiday season – I don’t want anyone reading this article thinking “Oh no! Now what am I supposed do?”
Overall, the signs are good for holiday spending this year. While some consumers may be worrying about how to stretch their budgets, others are still confident that the deals will be worth it. And retailers seem to feel similarly: Many of them have been planning ahead for Black Friday and Cyber Monday since last year’s sales event was over—and they’re hoping that their preparations will pay off by bringing in new customers while also helping existing ones save money on gifts they would’ve bought anyway. In short, there’s reason to think we could see an uptick in sales this year without any major price hikes (or other unpleasant surprises). But if you’re worried about getting sucked into buying something unnecessary because of a sale price? Make sure you take care before making any purchases!
🧰 This Week in Taylor’s Toolkit
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❓ Ask the Expert
“Taylor, I’m graduating college in December and I am worried about paying off my student loans. I have both subsidized and unsubsidized and I don’t even know where to start with paying them off. Please help me!”
Hi Jamie! Your concerns are valid, and paying off your student loans is something you should start thinking about right now. I’m assuming that by “graduating college,” you mean completing your bachelor’s degree, which will put you in the unfortunate category of those students with both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. If you have both of these types of loans, it means you received a certain amount of funding from the government to defer your loan payments while you’re in school. This helped you pay for school and now leaves you with an extra burden: interest on your subsidized loans is charged from the time the money was disbursed to when it was paid back, but on unsubsidized loans, interest accrues from the day the money is borrowed until the day it’s paid back.
The first thing I want to tell you is that you don’t have to pay them off all at once. You can make monthly payments, or pay them off in full. Start off by evaluating your current cash flow – money going in and money going out (apps can help you do this)! Within this, take a look to see where you can tighten up some loose change – could you pause a subscription to make additional payments? Are you optimizing your cash-back opportunities?
Another area you should look into is getting a consolidation loan. Consolidation loans are a way of combining all your student loan debts into one loan with one interest rate. This way, you will only have one payment a month.
We are here to support you to get your pretty penny! Good luck Jamie!
Your priceless person for all things money,