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Teaching Kids to Spend Smart on Black Friday

Long before you run out of turkey leftovers, it will be time to hit the stores and the keyboard to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The advertising story around these two days is one of big discounts and can’t-miss sales, but it’s easy enough for us to get caught up in the hype and that’s true for our kids too. The narrative makes sense–get ahead on holiday shopping and save money too. How do we know if we’re making the right choices?

Whether you’re shopping online or at home, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves to be savvy consumers and to lead our children by example.

1) Plan Ahead

Instead of waiting until Friday, November 23 and being lured by big red numbers, make a Black Friday plan now. What do you need? What presents are you hoping to buy, which items do you want to look out for? This will help avoid being caught up in the excitement. It also means you can set a budget for your shopping in advance, and decide how much you’re willing to spend in total or on any one thing.

Share some of your list with your kids and help them make lists for items they may be saving for or hoping to buy, too.

2) Be Tech Savvy

A number of tools like ShopSavvy and PriceGrabber will let you compare prices in real-time on the go, both with other retailers and comparable brands. Teach your kids about price comparison and research as you go.

Make sure to follow the social pages of big brands or retailers you are hoping to buy from to see if they post special deals on Facebook or Twitter. Many will post special coupons on those days. If you’re shopping online, you can also use livechat features to ensure your deal is as good as you think it is.

3) Don’t Forget Independent Businesses

Not all of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals happen at global retailers, in fact some of the best and most satisfying purchases are from the mom and pop shops that have joined the fray. Some businesses even participate in a third shopping day called Small Business Saturday, which provides a great opportunity to support smaller businesses and a healthy local economy.

Teach your kids the value of buying locally and ethically, and what it means to support independent business, online and in-person.

Whether you plan to go all out this year or skip the hype, Black Friday buzz is a great reason to start a conversation about smart spending with your kids.