The tryptophan trap is a very real phenomenon when you consider just how much turkey you consumed over the weekend. Warm and muzzy from your Thanksgiving feast (plus all those leftovers), you may sleep through one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Cyber Monday, along with Black Friday before it, marks the beginning of the holiday season, and they both offer some fabulous deals that can help you shop without going over budget.
Snagging these deals for yourself can take work. If you expect to take advantage of Cyber Monday, here’s your wakeup call. Shake off your carb coma and check in with this simple, no-nonsense guide to Cyber Monday.
Set an alarm
Just like your Netflix original that drops at midnight, most deals start as soon as the calendar flips from Sunday to the titular Monday. Roughly three-quarters of all shoppers get their Cyber Monday shopping done first thing in the morning, while nearly one-third of them start shopping as early as Sunday night. If you don’t want to get left behind in the digital dust, you should set an alarm to remind you of your task. In some cases, like with Walmart and Amazon, you’ll have to set your alarm days in advance, as these retailers have eschewed Monday for an entire Cyber week that starts before Thanksgiving Day.
Have a budget
Psychologists have proven it’s easy to overspend when you’re dealing with digital payments because you don’t have to hand over any money. Without the physical loss of bills, you can spend more than you intend. But just because you lost track of how many shopping carts you’ve cashed out doesn’t mean your credit card statement will.
You can protect yourself from holiday debt by figuring out how much you can afford. The LA Times has a general guideline for how much you should spend on each person on your list to give you a good idea of what you’ll need to spend.
Stock up on gift cards
A PS4 bundle isn’t the only thing to go on sale this weekend. You can find gift cards at discounted prices if you know where to look. There are websites like CardCash and Raise that offers discounted gift cards from thousands of brands, giving you an affordable way to surprise the people on your list.
Have a recovery strategy
A financially responsible Cyber Monday isn’t always about finding the best deals. Sometimes, it’s about knowing how you can recover from this expensive weekend. Typically, when you overspend in one week, you should try to reduce your spending in the following weeks to re-establish balance to your budget. This can be difficult when you’re entering the holidays, a time when you’re expected to pull out all the stops to celebrate the season. Add to that any unexpected household repairs, bills, or last-minute gifts, and you may not have enough time to find your financial equilibrium nor the cash to cover all your responsibilities.
For many people strapped for cash over the holidays, a cash loan is a simple way to cover these essential bills. They act as a bridge between your responsibilities and your next paycheck, so you don’t have to delay essential repairs and doctor’s visits or rack up late fees on bills. During the hustle and bustle of the season, you may not even have the time to speak with a traditional lender for help. That’s where online lenders like MoneyKey come in. Their online platform lets you apply online at any time of the day or night from wherever you get Wi-Fi. Once you aren’t restricted by branch business hours or locations, you can easily get an online payday loan to help you cover essential bills.
Don’t forget cybersecurity
In the rush to nab a free iPhone X, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Apple would never sell their flagship handset at this price point. Don’t take leave of your senses when you’re shopping for deals. Keep an eye out for obvious scams by using your critical thinking skills. Take a look at the source of any deals sent to your inbox and avoid URLs that look unfamiliar. When you’re ready to cash out, make sure you’re shopping from a website that’s verified with a dependable encryption that will protect your payment information.
Cyber Monday is a great way to snag a deal before the holidays, but only if you know how to navigate this sale properly. If you expect to score an unbelievable online sale, you can’t jump into the Thanksgiving weekend blind. Prepare yourself in advance, and you’ll be able to use Cyber Monday to your advantage.