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How to Survive Holiday Shopping in South Florida

It’s that time of year…holiday shopping in South Florida! A tradition that peaks every woman’s interest and hits a not-so-lucky man’s wallet. As Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday quickly approach the area, patrons are probably planning their shopping strategy and how to navigate through the days due to the influx of shoppers.

First things first.
  • Set a Budget- Although, we like to think that we will stick to a holiday budget, let’s admit we most likely won’t. The trick is to round up based on how much you want to spend versus the most you could spend. For example, if you want to spend $400, but can’t go over $600, set your budget to $400 and you now have a $200 dollar safety net. The other trick is to set aside money in a savings account that you’d usually use for coffee runs or that candy bar you can’t resist picking up in the checkout line at the grocery store.
  • Know who you’re shopping for and what they want- Request your family’s wish lists about a month in advance as more and more businesses are starting to have pre-Black Friday sales and events. After gathering the lists, it will be easy to determine where and when is the best day to shop. For example, if the kids asked for TVs or gaming systems, don’t wait in line on Black Friday when you could be buying “mall items” (clothes, candles, fragrances, makeup) instead. Wait until Cyber Monday to jump on the tech deals, chances are you won’t fight with another person and will save yourself an hour in line.
Once you’ve gathered your budget, set aside funds and received wish lists, it’s onto planning out the days.

Black Friday

Do Check holiday hours as some malls within the area like Aventura and Pembroke Lakes will only have select stores open on Thanksgiving starting at 6pm until midnight and reopen on Friday at 6am. Whereas Sawgrass Mills and Dolphin Mall  will be open from 10am-12am on Thanksgiving. Sawgrass reopens on Friday at 6am and Dolphin at 8am. There’s nothing worse than having to fight for a parking spot, just to find the stores you need are closed, when you could have been shopping for other Black Friday deals.      

Don’t Put things on hold. Chances are they’ll get lost in the shuffle or you’ll find that one crazy person who will go behind the counter when you leave because they want it that badly. If you aren’t sure, you can always return the items you’re iffy about.

Small Business Saturday

Do Go out, have fun and discover a new, local spot. In the past, Fort Lauderdale based companies such as Hoffman’s Chocolate’s, American Social and Lilac and Lilies Boutique offered free taste tests as well as discounts to shoppers. FYI- this is a great day to take advantage of buying gifts for the boss.

Don’t Show up at any local business assuming they are participating- you may get frustrated when you find out they are not. Small businesses in South Florida have to register to participate, so be sure to research which ones will have discounts and events.

And lastly, everyone’s favorite part to the holiday shopping trio.

Cyber Monday

Do Be the first to the button. Set your alarm for 12 a.m. because you are now competing with the entire United States and then some. Bookmark Amazon product pages so that you can quickly log on and purchase items that day.

Don’t Add things to the cart. By the time you add 5 things in a cart, three of them may be gone. As soon as you see what you’re looking for purchase it on the spot. You may have three or five emailed confirmations, but that’s much better than not having the perfect gifts this holiday season.

P.S. For even better organization throughout your holiday shopping, check out our money management guide. You’ll  come out the victor against holiday shopping. You-1, Holiday Shopping-0.

TFCU's Money Management Guide Call to Action