15 Ways to Avoid Overspending on Cyber Monday

Every year, hordes of people flock to the internet on Cyber Monday; and many do something that they will regret later. In fact, 2/3 of Americans report more impulse buys in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday than any other time of year.

While Cyber Monday is a great day to buy what you need at a great price, the inescapable advertising, and social shopping can cause even the most frugal person to overspend and overbuy. Here are 15 tips to curb your shopping this holiday season.

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15 Things Not To Do On Cyber Monday

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You may have read all the Cyber Monday and Black Friday Tips on getting the best deals and scoring the best finds in-store and online. Still, to avoid making any mistakes with your money on Cyber Monday and Black Friday, these experts have put together a list of what NOT to do on Cyber Monday.

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1. Don’t Buy More Meaningless Stuff

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Most stores have great deals on televisions, video games, vacuums, and other stuff that you can fill your house with on Cyber Monday. Although it’s a great opportunity to get holiday gifts for our loved ones, we all often also use the opportunity to buy stuff for ourselves. So here’s a hint: Don’t do it.

If it’s not something you need or your loved one needs, you aren’t really saving money by getting it. Instead, spend the money on doing something you love. We don’t need to continue to fill our homes with useless junk, even if it’s on sale. Gifts that help your loved ones pursue their passion, do something fun, or spend quality time with you are far more meaningful than the slightly discounted “stuff” you find on Cyber Monday.

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2. Don’t Buy Gifts For Every Single Person You Know

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If you are a generous person or someone who enjoys gift-giving, you may be tempted to take advantage of the Cyber Monday sales to get ahead with your holiday shopping. While there is nothing wrong with saving yourself money, don’t use these sales as an excuse to buy more gifts than you can afford.

Not everyone in your life needs a present! There are other options if you can’t afford Christmas. You could send personalized cards, make your own gifts (like cookies or crafts), or skip the gift-giving altogether and spend time together instead.

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3. Don’t Buy Something if You Haven't Had it on Your List For at Least 6 Months

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There's nothing like Cyber Monday to get even the most disciplined shoppers into a frenzy! Everything is on sale, and supposed deals are everywhere. It is easy to get carried away and forget your financial goals.

If you want to build your net worth and achieve financial freedom, do not buy anything if it has not been on your must-have list for at least six months. This will keep you from impulse shopping and help you stick to your budget. For example, if you just need to buy a barbell because you’re setting up a compact home gym, do not splurge on a Tonal-like smart home gym that is on sale for $250 off.

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4. Don’t Put Your Purchases on a Credit Card Without a Payoff Plan

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With the holidays approaching, there can be a lot of pressure to overspend your budget and max out your credit card on Cyber Monday. However, the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is not taking on additional debt in exchange for consumer items you probably won’t even be using this time next year.

If you haven’t set a budget for your holiday shopping, it’s not too late! However, if you don’t have a lot of disposable income, there are many side hustles or part-time jobs you can use to make extra money before Christmas.

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5. Don’t go Shopping Without a Plan

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Cyber Monday is a great opportunity to save money on gifts you were already planning to buy. But don’t go shopping without a written plan that fits your budget. It’s not worth the temptation. Instead, check out the ads ahead of time. Make a list of where you need to go and what you need to get. It’s sure to save you money and time in the long run.

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6. Don't Sabotage Your Progress Towards Your Goals

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The holiday period often seems like a great time to let loose and splurge, but often it can be detrimental to our long-term progress. It is tempting to assume we will turn a new leaf after the New Year rolls in, but we do the most harm during the holidays, whether towards our fitness or financial goals.

So instead, reach out and seek an accountability partner. The accountability partner is someone who can help you stay on track and push you forward, so you enter the New Year feeling confident and inspired.

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7. Don’t Ignore How Much You’re Spending

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You know sticking to your budget and living below your means will help you reach your financial goals. But, you can't do either effectively if you're not tracking your spending.

Ignoring how much you're spending on a day like Cyber Monday can lead to a major financial setback. That's why tracking your spending once you've started shopping is important.

Keep a running total with every purchase so you can be sure you're staying within your budget. Using cash only is another way of keeping track of your spending if you're shopping in person. Either way, you'll know how much you have available and when it's time to head home.

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8. Don’t Always go For The Lowest-Priced Item

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When you shop on Cyber Monday, it’s important not to always go for the lowest-priced items. Instead, check the price drop from the retail price to the current price to see what item offers good value. Besides that, it’s good to know the specifications of the item you plan on buying.

Make sure that what you’re buying is good quality and the best value for your money. Lastly, consider getting multiple items from one location to save on shipping if you want to reach financial goals like financial freedom or reaching a net worth goal, considering value for money in the long term.

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9. Don’t Ignore Your Stock Portfolio on Cyber Monday

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Cyber Monday is a great day to start doing your annual or semi-annual portfolio check-up. It is the time of year to look at stocks that are not performing well and engage in tax-loss harvesting.

Selling stocks with losses is a good way to offset realized capital gains to reduce taxes. So spend some time looking at your portfolio and coming up with your strategy for the end of the year.

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10. Don't Feel The Pressure

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Cyber Monday “deals” will reappear the first week of the new year. All those specials and “limited time offer” sales will be back in about a month. Really think hard about if you need to buy the item/service in question right this second. Odds are the same deal will be here in January when companies realize they didn’t meet sales quotas.

I have screenshotted deals I was excited about and thought about them for a few weeks. When I came back to the website, the same deal was there with a different colored banner. Don’t let the fear of missing out cause you to buy things you don’t need impulsively.

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11. Don't Sign up For Store Card Offers Impulsively

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Be wary of store card offers. Signing up for store credit cards as a way to get money off your purchases or 0% financing for a specified term can be a great way to make credit cards work for you instead of against you this Cyber Monday. However, it’s important to be selective when taking advantage of these offers and to not overstretch yourself by doing it.

First, make sure the deal is worth it. For example, getting an extra 20% off on a $100 purchase likely isn’t worth opening a store card for, while getting an extra 20% off on a $1,000 may be worth it.

Second, if you open a card for a 0% financing offer, make sure that you pay off the card by the time the 0% term ends to avoid being hit with interest from the time you opened the card (yes, they really do that). As with getting a percentage off, you’ll also want to make sure the purchase is large enough to make opening a card for a 0% financing offer worth it.

Last but not least, avoid opening up several cards at once and make sure those you do open are only because it’s an offer you can’t refuse. Then, once the card is paid off, close the account and save your credit card spending for cards that offer better rewards for your spending.

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12. Don't Spend Without Making Sure You Can Pay For It

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Cyber Monday can have some great deals, and it may be a great day to do some big shopping for things you need. If you do need to take the dive and spend big, look for simple ways to make extra cash that don't require too much of your time so you can make up for your splurge.

Using side hustles to cover your purchases before buying something is a great way to make sure you only spend what you can afford.

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13. Don't Spend to Make You Happy

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Spending a lot of money will not bring you happiness.

People often think that buying the next big thing will bring them happiness. You may be excited at the moment; however, long-term, when you are losing progress on your financial goals, you will wonder why. The short-term satisfaction of spending money outside of your budget could lead to feeling depressed or anxious from the additional financial strain.

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14. Don't Shop Yourself Into Regret

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Cyber Monday is a perfect time to buy cheaper tech products such as webcams and microphones for streaming. However, if you are buying something more expensive like a flatscreen TV, console, or other electronics, grab one only if you really need it, not because this promotion convinced you.

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15. Don’t Buy Something You Don’t Need Just Because “It’s On Sale”

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Buying something on sale is still spending money. Cyber Monday deals are made to look too good to pass up; it would be a crime not to buy something when it's 70% off, right? Wrong.

Many times, we get sucked into buying something we don't need because it's so discounted. Nothing is cheaper than not buying that item, no matter how discounted it is. Spending zero dollars is always the best. Keep your Cyber Monday purchases only to those items that you need or would be buying later on anyway.

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More Articles by Wealth of Geeks

10 Simple Steps to Ace Your Holiday Shopping Without Overspending

10 Reasons You’re Spending Too Much This Holiday Season

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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Robyn is a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. She has her MBA and has been studying Personal Finance on her own for as long as she can remember.

She has always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start her blog after a period of extended unemployment. She says that experience really changed the way she viewed her relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education. Read more at A Dime Saved.