From feast mode, to shopping frenzy, we’re just days away from the craziest shopping day of the year, Black Friday! Good deals, great gifts and plenty of last minute temptations can pull the purse strings of even the savviest of shoppers. We’ve narrowed down 7 Black Friday shopping secrets to help you dominate your holiday wish list – without breaking the bank.

1. Set a Black Friday budget.

Before you elbow your way to a shopping cart; first, you need to set a Black Friday budget. Before you can determine how much you can reasonably afford to spend, set aside enough funds for rent, savings and all other bills. That way you can get the most out of the Black Friday deals without stressing about your next payment.

2. Identify who/what you are shopping for.

If you’re planning to buy holiday gifts, Black Friday shopping could save you a ton of extra bucks. Grab a pen and paper and make a list of everyone you plan to buy for. Set a price limit you’d like to spend on each. Next, only jot down gift ideas that are at, or under that number. If you’re not sure, look up the products and deals online before your head out. Lastly, write the store you can find the preferred gifts at and get shopping! Once purchased, cross off the item(s) from your list as you go. To stay on budget, here’s the rule of thumb. If it’s not on your list, or if the item is out of your price range – just say no!

3. Do your research.

Do your research ahead of time to find the best deals for each item. Where can you find the best deal this year? The local shops, or maybe an online store? You may be surprised to find that the top store from last year may not be your best bet this season. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you can enjoy more for less.

4. Look for coupons.

No one wants to spend more money than they have to. Did you know that there are plenty of websites and mobile apps that offer coupon codes and discounts to some of the top stores and products we love? It’s definitely worth checking out before swiping your credit card.

5.) Don’t fall for too many card offers!

Overspending and over eagerness to cash in on those 15% off store cards can potentially hurt your credit for months or even years! If you shop at a store on a regular basis, and if payments are not an issue for you, a store card discount may be beneficial. With that said, going overboard on this practice – or not being responsible with your bills can really damage your credit score. If you only shop there occasionally; or if you have several store cards piled up already – it may not be wise to sign up for more. A 15% or 20% discount could end up costing you more than you may have bargained for if you can’t keep up with your payments – or get too many, too fast. If you’d like to learn more about best credit practices – or if a higher score is on your holiday wish list, the knowledgeable credit crew members at ScoreShuttle may be able to help.

6. Bring a friend.

Black Friday can be a shopping jungle! To keep your cool, bring a friend or two for a few helping hands. Split up your holiday wish list and assign items/stores for each person to tackle. Meet back up at the food court to regroup on your successes before your head home as Black Friday champs!

7. Wait for Cyber Monday

If Black Friday only brings you stress and empty aisles this year, don’t panic! Cyber Monday is right around the corner! Just like Black Friday, Cyber Monday can help you find some great items at a fraction of their typical price. But the best part? No crowds! Since everything is online, you can comfortably kick back and shop while eating Thanksgiving leftovers. Yum!

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