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Your Smartest Cyber Monday Strategy Yet

By Elizabeth Whalen

  • PUBLISHED November 21
  • |
  • 4 MINUTE READ

When it comes to Thanksgiving, Americans love their turkey dinners, the excitement of football games and, afterward, shopping. The potentially great deals on everything from electronics to shoes on Black Friday and online on Cyber Monday have become a tradition in and of themselves.
 
Cyber Monday, though newer than Black Friday, has become extraordinarily popular. Cyber Monday 2017 was the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history. Americans spent a record $6.59 billion online, up 16.8% from the year before.
 
But Cyber Monday doesn’t have to be just an opportunity to save money through great sales. It can also be a time to think more about saving in general. While you’re switching tabs looking for the cheapest TV, you may also want to consider ways to set aside some of that money you save and help it grow. 

So what can you do with your money on Cyber Monday to support your financial future? Here are five tips.
 
Organize your finances.
Not understanding your spending is one of the biggest obstacles to saving. But with a clear picture of where your money is going, you can make smarter choices. Before you head to your favorite e-commerce site on Cyber Monday, research a few budgeting tools. There are many options available online and in the major app stores that can offer insights into your spending. Pick one and set up a budget for both the holiday gifting season and beyond. Research from the Federal Reserve shows that if you check your account balances just before clicking “buy,” you’re more likely to skip purchases you can’t afford.
 
Seek professional guidance.
If you need to plan for the long term or simply want tailored financial advice, Cyber Monday is a great time to look for a financial advisor or accountant. These professionals charge fees, so to get the most value from the relationship, make sure you choose an advisor who takes a personalized, holistic approach that goes beyond offering stock and mutual fund picks. The advisor should also consider your individual tax situation and long-term goals when formulating a plan.
 
Set your spending strategy.
Whether or not you shop on Cyber Monday, you’ll almost certainly be shopping for gifts in the following weeks. Set aside some time to determine your ideal holiday-season spending limit. Be sure to include extra funds to cover unplanned expenses that might arise, such as a last-minute invitation to a party with a gift exchange.
 
Get a head start on next year and the years to come.
One of the easiest ways to reach your money goals for next year is to save without having to think about it. Setting up automatic transfers into a savings account takes just a few minutes, and you only have to do it once. To make the most of your money, take a few extra minutes to open a high yield savings account. You’ll earn more interest than a basic savings account and reach your savings goals faster. 
 
Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself. Just remember to do so wisely. While retailers often offer deep discounts on specific items on Black Friday, they typically feature site-wide discounts on Cyber Monday. So, if you have your eye on something special that didn’t go on sale on Black Friday, Cyber Monday might just be your lucky day.

 

Elizabeth Whalen is a freelance writer based in Berkeley, CA. She loves writing about business, financial services and sustainability. 

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