Be on your Guard While Shopping This Season

Well, Black Friday is only four days away now and people are already starting to camp out for the deals. I find that to be a little insane, but to each his own! Anyway, I came across an article on my friend's Facebook page today which talked about the stupid things we do when we shop (Thanks Drew W.). I decided to discuss a few of them and prepare you for Friday's craziness and how to save more money and not spend more then you have to.

Your Brand Loyalty can be a bad Habit

If you are someone who sticks to a certain brand, it could be costing you some serious cash in the long run. We probably all do it to some extent whether we are buying groceries, toothpaste or clothing. For instance, I'm a pretty big fan of GAP and American Eagle clothing so that's normally where I go to shop first. There will undoubtedly be deals in many name brand stores, but it's also important to shop around and see what other deals are out there. For instance, as an athlete, you may be a big fan of Nike or Under Armor but those brands also tend to be fairly pricey at times. Instead, check out some generic brand apparel and see how much you save by shopping somewhere else. The main thing to remember is to not get comfy with a certain brand or only shop in one place. Yes, it may be nice, but there may be a better deal somewhere else.

Social Status Affects Choices

In today's day in age, media pushes that what you wear and what you own determines your social status. I could not disagree more with this stance, and unfortunately when you are shopping, it definitely comes into play. If you are spending extra cash in order to maintain a social status (especially as an 18-25 year old. Let's face it. Most of us are broke) you should probably reconsider what you are buying. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and buy what you like, but don't buy those gifts for others or yourself based on what society tells you. Buy what is practical, both for yourself and when shopping for someone else. What you have does not make the person. Who you are makes the person.

Free Stuff Isn't Always Good

We've all done it before. You fill out a form and get a free gadget, toy or shirt from a company. Remember that free stuff isn't always free. It often times comes with a price. Now it may not be necessarily hurting your bank account right off, but if you provide a company with information, you provide them with an avenue to advertise to you at a more personal level. Sure it may be nice to know about some deals in the future, but at the same time, if you don't know about the deals, you won't be spending money on them either. On top of that, the information can be also sold to third party stores which will bombard you with emails and junk mail. As much as I love getting fliers in the mail all the time (false) I don't want my personal information to be sold to a ton of companies I could care less about. The article suggests that if you would still want the free item if it was half of or slightly discounted, then it's probably okay to take. If you don't have a use for the item, consider taking a pass.

For the full article, click here and read it! Also, for those of you who are looking to shop online instead of going out on Black Friday, I came across an amazing deal from Amazon. They are selling any non iPhone through Sprint, AT&T and Verizon for a penny a piece with a new two year agreement. If you are looking for a new phone, you should capitalize on this deal!

Will you be shopping on Black Friday?

Seth P.