One of the ways that we try to keep ourselves from feeling guilty about spending money is to “save” when we go shopping. And when it comes to holiday shopping, that means it’s all about Black Friday. Before you head out on Black Friday, though, it’s a good idea to consider whether or not you are maximizing your spending. The idea is to spend as little as possible, and get good deals. But you should also consider the time you spend looking for these deals.

If you plan to spend on Black Friday, here are some ideas for maximizing your spending:

Black Friday at Walmart

1. Know What’s Most Important

First of all, you need to figure out what’s most important. What items do you absolutely want to have? Which items represent the best bargains. Make sure you prioritize your shopping list. You aren’t going to be able to get all of the doorbusters and you won’t be able to attend all the sales, so make sure you get what’s most important first.

Holiday sales are going on constantly between Black Friday and Christmas, so every weekend you will get the chance to find other deals. Make sure you get the most important deals on Black Friday, and then get the other items as you can later. You want your money to go toward the most important items first. Create a plan that allows you to improve the chance that you will get the vital items first.

2. Stick to Your Spending Plan

You also need to stick to your spending plan. Make a Black Friday budget to go with the list, and then stick to it. Even though we like to think that we are “saving” money on Black Friday, the reality is that you are actually spending it. And you might be spending yourself into holiday debt that takes months to pay off — and that’s the result of one day of spending.

If you don’t want to go into debt, you need to acknowledge how much money it makes sense for you to spend, and then stick to your spending limits. You will be in a much better place financially, and you can keep your impulse purchases from overwhelming your holiday budget.

3. Use Credit Cards

No, you don’t want to go into debt. But you can maximize your spending with the help of the right rewards credit card. You can rack up the reward points with your Black Friday shopping. However, you should only follow this course if you have the appropriate level of self-discipline. The idea behind using credit cards to maximize your Black Friday shopping spree is that you can earn the rewards and then use them for cash back or some other advantage. But you have to pay of the card immediately, before you pay interest charges, in order to truly maximize your spending.

Be careful, and your Black Friday shopping won’t put your financial success at risk.

4. Stay Home

This is actually my preferred method of maximizing my Black Friday spending. I don’t like to go out on Black Friday. Instead, I look for deals online. Many of the deals are just as good as what is offered in brick and mortar stores, and I don’t have to brave the masses in order to get them.

No long lines, and no traffic to contend with. I hate wasting my time in lines like that, since I value it very highly. Staying home means that I have more time to spend with my family. Plus, with the help of specials, Amazon Prime, and, I don’t usually have to pay shipping, either. Not only that, but shopping online allows me to re-evaluate my shopping list, and make more measured decisions, rather than being caught up in the moment out in the crowds.

For me, staying home is the best way to maximize my spending on Black Friday. If I want to buy something, I can — and in a fraction of the time. Plus I don’t have to get out of my pajamas.

What about you? Do you like Black Friday? How do you maximize your savings?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.