global Tax Plan Ahead to Get the Most out of Black Friday November 24, 2015 No, we don’t mean getting the biggest TV—but rather getting the best start on holiday budgeting that won’t leave your pockets empty in the New Year. Holiday budgeting has become a year-end headache for consumers all around, but it shouldn’t have to be. Consumers can avail themselves of a number of year-end budgeting tips, including the Black Friday shopping tradition. Thanksgiving night is no longer a time to sneak that last piece of pumpkin pie and kick back in front of the football game—it has become the time where millions of shoppers pile in their cars, with hands full of ads and Christmas lists, and head to the stores hoping to score incredible deals. 5 ways to manage your budget Here are four considerations you should make before running into a situation where you are starting the New Year off with a depleted bank account: How much do you want to spend? Create a budget detailing all of the family members you have to shop for and how much you want to spend on each person. You will want to stick to this list as it will prevent you from spending money on things you do not need. Research shows that it helps to allocate at most 1.5% of your income towards holiday spending. So if you make $60,000, try not to spend over $900 on holiday gifts, decorations, etc. How do you want to shop? Are you heading to the physical store locations or shopping online? It might be worthwhile to stay home this year to avoid the crowds and rack up online deals that start even before Cyber Monday. There are opportunities at many stores for free shipping, too (like Best Buy and Target). How will taxes affect your purchases? Though there may be no sales tax on some online purchases, if certain criteria are met, there is still a use tax due on the purchase so be mindful of your obligations in that area. How do you want to pay for things? Though some suggest that bringing cash only on Black Friday will make you less inclined to spend beyond your budget, many suggest paying for things via credit instead. Besides the rewards you can rack up with your purchases, you will also be able to acquire price and purchase protection. This means that if you purchase something that later goes on sale, your card might qualify you for a reimbursement of the difference in price. It also helps to not have the worry of carrying a large amount of cash on you. How much will you spend on other non-gift items? Make sure to set aside part of your budget for holiday entertainment and décor—and make sure you stick to it. If you are tempted to buy other items, maybe personal, while shopping on Black Friday, consider how these purchases will affect your budget, and consider whether you have enough discretionary money in your budget to be able to fit these purchases in. It can be tempting to splurge on something when you see a great deal while out on Black Friday, so make sure you have a budget and list set in stone so you will not stray away from the things you need. Making the most out of holiday shopping is tough at times, but as long as you stick to a budget that aligns with your income, you will be in good shape for the New Year. Questions? Contact us.