How to get the most Bang for your Buck on Cyber Monday

Published on November 29, 2015 By Lauren

This is Day 29 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge

Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge.

Get your plan ready now with – How to get the most Bang for your Buck on Cyber Monday

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I am honest about being a recovering spender… you may have even seen my post about stopping online impulse purchases. Part of the goal of the 30 days to a debt free Christmas, is just that, to allow people to have the holiday they want and can enjoy without breaking the bank.

I’m not going to lie, Cyber Monday is a hard day. It combines some of the biggest pitfalls for holiday spenders. There are lots of choices, lots of sales. and if you’re not careful, lots of money coming out of your wallet.

You need to proceed with caution. Am I telling you NOT to shop Cyber Monday? Absolutely not. Cyber Monday is an amazing day to get some really great deals on some gifts!

Make sure you check out my article on Black Friday shopping to find out more money saving tips.

Cyber Monday Risks

Why is Cyber Monday so ‘risky’ for us as budget focused people?

  1. Pressure – There is a lot of pressure. We want all the best items for the best price and we want them before they sell out. This makes us make quick, rash, and often costly decisions.
  2. Lack of Sticker Shock – Just as I mentioned in the impulse spending post, shopping online takes away that gut feeling at checkout when you have overspent.
  3. Exceptions – It’s so easy to make exceptions because it is ‘such a good deal’ or ‘so and so would LOVE that.’ But once you start making exceptions then it can be very hard to figure out where to draw the line.

Okay, so now that we’ve been forewarned about some of the things we need to watch out for with Cyber Monday, we can plan our strategy for making the most of these deals!

Before Cyber Monday:

Obviously the window shopping and deal hunting is the most fun. But there is some prep work you can and should do in order to take advantage of these deals.

  1. Set a budget – Boo! If only we had unlimited money to spend on all these goodies! Be sure to set yourself a spending cap and budget. Chances are you have already done some shopping or will need to do more shopping after this. So set yourself a reasonable limit. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get everything on your wish list!
  2. Set up a wishlist – Come up with some goals or wishlist items. Personally, I like to look for items that I most likely will not be able to afford any other way than through a Cyber Monday deal. This helps you know what to look for.  Read my post about how to use an Amazon Wishlist to save you hundreds this Christmas.
  3. Research Non-sale pricesSometimes the deals on Cyber Monday aren’t quite as sensational as stores would like us to think they are. I am not saying the deals aren’t worth it, but there may be better ways to get better deals or the same deal at a time that is better for your finances. So look up the non-sale prices so you can get an idea of how much items run normally.
  4. Specs/Stats – Even though we may have our eye on a particular brand and model of a product, chances are good that the one we want isn’t the exact one that will go on sale. For your must-have items, make yourself a cheat sheet of the specifications that your ideal product has. Ex. For a laptop make a note of the screen size, RAM, Processor, ports, battery life, and other important things. This way even if the one laptop you were eyeing doesn’t come up on sale you can easily compare the ones that do.
  5. Look up Cyber Monday ads – Some stores release their Cyber Monday ads in advance, others do not.  Check out the Retale App for ads ahead of time. Do a little digging and see if your favorite stores are giving out the information early. This can help you plan. Keep in mind there are often many more items available on sale than just those mentioned in the advertisements.
  6. Make a store list – I tend to be forgetful sometimes, so it really helps if I make a list of the prime stores I want to check out. If you’re not sure if a company participates, don’t be afraid to Google it. You might be surprised how many stores take part in Cyber Monday.
  7. Timing – See if you can find out what time the Cyber Monday sales get posted. For example, American Girl has a Cyber Monday sale, but it does not typically go live at midnight EST, but rather midnight CST. This can make a big difference if you’re planning on staying up late or getting up early!

Conquering Cyber Monday:

The better your prep work, hopefully the more successful you’ll find your Cyber Monday shopping! The more focused you are the less likely you are to be distracted by unnecessary and unwanted purchases also!

Prior to the sales going live, make sure your computer is running smoothly. If need be, restart it, make sure your internet connection is working, etc. If you are choosing to camp out on the computer or laptop make sure you’re comfortable.

Be sure that you have your debit card handy or even a prepaid debit card. Bring notepad and pencils, just in case you need to jot anything down.

Some things to keep in mind:

You may well find yourself making purchases very quickly. Be sure to watch what you are buying to make sure they are the actual items you want! Also, either keep a running tally on a notepad or check your email invoices periodically to monitor your spending. Believe me, I know how quickly all those purchases can add up!

Don’t be afraid to give yourself SOME discretionary funds for extra purchases. This is definitely a tricky matter because it depends on whether or not you can hold yourself accountable. Sometimes items will pop up for great deals on Cyber Monday that you had never considered. Sometimes they might not even be Christmas gifts, but rather items you need, or items that could be put away for a future birthday.

It’s not wrong to want to make the most of these deals as they come up. You just need to make sure you stay within your means. However, if you do not HAVE any extra room in your budget for discretionary purchases, it might be for the best to simply look only for the items on your list.

It’s okay to stop shopping!

Don’t be a slave to the computer just for a deal. If you are not having much luck with the items you want, don’t beat yourself up. Take a break, check back later (some stores update their sales periodically throughout the day).

Once you have reached your spending cap, STOP WINDOW SHOPPING. It can be so hard to stop looking, but do yourself a favor. Turn off the computer and relax. If you got some good deals consider yourself fortunate. After all, you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you blow your budget!

I hope that you can put some of these strategies into play and have a very successful and budget friendly Cyber Monday! Let me know how you do!


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