Shopping MallThis week, on both sides of the border, Black Friday Sales advertising will blast out from stores, radios, tvs and online.

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and has crossed the border into Canada in recent years.

Although the name originated in Philadelphia, wider usage grew based on the idea that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss or “in the red” from January through November, and “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or “in the black”.

So, what does that say about our shopping habits? It is really easy to get sucked into the Myth of Consumption, that it is your duty as a consumer/citizen to shop, buy and consume and the Myth of More, that to be happy you must have more (and more and more).

For Your Family and For Your Business

If you are going to shop the sales, look at how you can really leverage it for your family and your business. Are there items – gifts, technology, clothing that you need to buy anyway? What do you need in your business that you can buy at a discount? Take advantage of the sales to purchase these and be sure you avoid buying unneeded items!

OR … Crazy, I know, but you could skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending altogether. If you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these Four Great Tips.

Make A List

PresentsIf you are shopping for gifts, use my Holiday Spending Worksheet to clarify who you are buying for and what you want to spend per person/item. Add it up and make sure you can swing it and still be happy with your credit card statement in January. Click Here to access The Holiday Spending Worksheet.

Decide How Much You Will Spend

Know your numbers, what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan.  When you run out of money, go home!

Do Your Research

Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase and what the regular price is.  Be sure are actually getting a deal or not. Focus on the items in which you can get deep discounts and skip the rest.

Check Online

You may be able to get great deals without leaving the comfort of your home.  Check major retailers for online specials for the items you are buying.  Look for online coupons and deals. Check out Black Friday Deals Canada or

All in all, have fun and be wise about what you buy.  Remember that a prosperous life isn’t about the stuff you have.  Happy smart shopping!


Photo Credit: Shopping at the Eaton Centre –


© 2014

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Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money.  Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals.  They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money.

Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money.

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