Three key ingredients can make or break your Black Friday–computer, credit card and coffee. And you don’t even need to leave home! Here are the easiest ways to score great online savings this Black Friday.
Black Friday gets a lot of hype: getting up in the wee hours to wait in line for the best deals. In fact, 86% of Americans are expected to spend money on pre-Christmas sales held on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019. This amounts to roughly $87 billion spent in just a matter of days.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday to score some great deals online. You can save money online all weekend. So, instead of spending the day after Thanksgiving in a mad rush from store to store, you can stay warm in your home, enjoying homemade turkey sandwiches and catching a game on TV.
No need to look for parking, spend time away from family, or risk injury fighting over a scarce must-have item. Black Friday online savings can keep more than your budget happy–your sanity can be saved as well. Here’s how to make the most of your online shopping during Black Friday.
1. Know Your Budget
First of all, know your budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on Black Friday. If you’ve planned far enough in advance, you might have already saved up money for holiday shopping on Black Friday. One of the best things to do is set aside money throughout the year for your shopping so that you have a tidy sum available for holiday spending.
Be realistic about your budget, no matter the situation, though. Sit down and decide what you can spend, and then stick to it.
Related: Best Credit Cards for Black Friday
2. Create a List Ahead of Time
If you want to increase the chance that you’ll avoid going over budget, make a list. Who’s on your list for holiday shopping? What do you think you’ll buy them? Don’t forget to consider what else you’ll need for the holiday season, or even think about items you’ve wanted to buy that might be on sale.
Your list is a way to guide you away from impulse shopping. It’s tempting to buy a little something extra when it gets your attention, and this is especially likely if you’re not sure what you want and are just shopping to see what’s out there. A list can keep you focused.
3. Look at Amazon’s Deals Ahead of Time
Check the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on Amazon ahead of time. Amazon is especially known for having limited-time deals in the days leading up to Black Friday as well as their sales on the “big day.” Match up the gift ideas on your list or the people on your list with what’s going to be on sale for Black Friday.
You can do the same for Cyber Monday. In fact, Amazon is likely to have deals for several days before and after Black Friday. You can look ahead to see what items are coming up on sale, and you can even see when they’ll be offered. This can go a long way toward helping you make a list, whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers or whether you want to get something for yourself.
4. Don’t Forget About Other Online Deals
Google “best Black Friday deals” or something similar, and you’ll find no shortage of articles comparing various ads and deals from different stores, as well as previews from consumer websites helping you narrow the options. These resources can help you identify what’s out there quickly so you can make your list more effectively.
Stores like Walmart, Kohls and others all put out some of their Black Friday deals ahead of time, and many of them have online-only specials. Do a little recon and you can match what’s on sale with your list so you can shop with purpose and avoid impulse spending that might break your budget. If you can’t find it on Amazon, there’s a good chance you’ll find it elsewhere.
Related: Best Stocks to Buy for Black Friday
5. Use Online Coupons and Rebate Websites
Before Black Friday, sign up for rebate websites. Ebates, Swagbucks, and RetailMeNot are all examples of websites that can help you get discounts and money back on your purchases. Don’t forget to use websites like Slick Deals and Coupons.com to find promo codes and online coupons designed to help you save money.
By laying the groundwork, you can prepare to stack your savings. For example, I regularly use Swagbucks online shopping to get money back. If I shop through that portal and use a coupon, I boost my savings. I can turn my earned Swagbucks into Amazon gift cards for later use. If you have Acorns and use their “Found Money” feature, you can get extra cash in your investment account, allowing you to potentially see even greater returns.
Don’t assume that what you spend is the end of the savings possibilities. There are a number of ways to get automatic savings, cash back, and various discounts and stack them, effectively reducing your overall cost for Black Friday shopping.
6. Buy With Your Rewards Credit Card
When used as part of your regular Black Friday online shopping strategy, a rewards credit card can be a great way to make the most of your purchases.
Decide which rewards program will give you the best results right now. Whether you want cash back or hope to pad your airline miles, choose the rewards credit card most likely to help you reach your goals.
Another way to get a boost is to open a new credit card with a big signing bonus before you begin your Black Friday shopping. Your Black Friday shopping could help you reach the threshold you need to get that bonus, further increasing the value of your shopping. A good signing bonus could be worth as much as $250 or maybe even 60,000 miles–which could translate into $600 (or more) in travel rewards.
Only buy what’s on your list, and limit your purchases to your budget. That way, you can pay off your credit card immediately after reaping the rewards. Paying off your card immediately helps you avoid interest on your purchases. When you pay interest, the value of your discounts and rewards is essentially negated, so be sure to integrate your rewards card use with your already-made holiday shopping budget.
The best part about using your rewards card for Black Friday online shopping is that you can continue to stack your savings. Shop through your separate online rebate portal using your credit card. You’ll get the rebate or cash back, plus your credit card rewards. That’s like multiplying your money-saving benefit.
7. Focus on High-End Items
Some of your biggest savings are likely to come on high-end items. Electronics are great for online Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) savings. Many stores deeply discount TVs, gaming consoles and other electronics. You might also get some great deals on accessories that go with these electronic devices.
It’s also possible to save money on clothing over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. There are usually great deals on seasonal and unseasonal clearance items. Plus, some stores will give you coupons and discounts to use at a later date. With a little coordination, you can spend on good deals, and then use discounts in the future on other sale items.
8. Consider Travel Deals
No, you’re not likely to score great holiday travel deals when you shop on Black Friday. However, there are some great deals to be had if you plan next year’s travel and purchase your airfare. For example, Skyscanner reports that you could potentially get 29% off a ticket to Tokyo when booking on Black Friday.
Take a look at travel websites to see if you can get some bargains on vacation packages, cruises and other travel-related items. You might be surprised at how much you can save when you book your spring break trip or summer vacation during a Black Friday sale.
9. Look for Free Shipping
Another great way to save money is to look for shipping deals. If you belong to Amazon Prime, you’re going to get free shipping for most items. But plenty of other retailers offer free shipping as part of their Black Friday deals. You need to figure out whether you need to spend a minimum amount of money in order to get free shipping, or if it’s just offered. You can also look for free shipping promo codes online to help you at checkout.
If you’re sending something to someone else, consider having it sent directly, instead of having it shipped to you and then shipping it to the recipient. If a gift wrap option is available, it might be worth it. Then, your recipient can simply place it under the tree–and you’ve used your free shipping promo code to save a little.
10. Don’t Assume Black Friday is the Best Deal
Finally, don’t assume that Black Friday online savings are going to be the absolute best option. In fact, you might be able to score better deals on Cyber Monday, or by checking smaller retailers on Small Business Saturday. Even local businesses might have some online shopping options to consider, so don’t forget about them.
In some cases, you could even see better deals if you do your online shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Sneak away from the after-dinner conversation (maybe when politics come up) to check online for some early bargains. Just make sure you’re back in time for pie.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes you can find deals that are just as good throughout the year, or for decor, waiting until after Christmas to make your purchases. If you’re looking for items that have a more permanent nature in your home, waiting for steep post-holiday discounts might be worth it.
Planning ahead can help you keep an eye out for the best deals year-round, allowing you to save money, even if you don’t do your shopping on Black Friday.
Topics: Smart Spending
How to Spend Your Coronavirus Relief Check: 4 Smart Options
If you make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if you’re married), coronavirus relief money is coming your way. President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, which includes stimulus checks for millions of Americans.
The maximum amount you can receive is $1,200 per adult (or $2,400 for married couples) plus $500 per child under age 17. Individuals making over $75,000 or couples making over $150,000 will see their check phased out by 5 cents for every dollar they earn over those amounts.
It could be several weeks — possibly over a month — before you receive your stimulus money, but now’s a good time to start planning how you’ll use that cash so you make the best of it.
Here’s all of our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which we will be updating every day.
Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, but here are four key things to consider when deciding how to spend your coronavirus relief check.
Cover Your Needs First
If there were ever a time to prioritize needs over wants, this is it. This is especially important if you’ve lost income due to layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours or slow business. Your stimulus money should go toward making sure you have a roof over your head and food on the table.
Create a bare-bones budget and total up the cost of your absolute essential expenses. Then look at how much money you have in your checking and savings accounts — in addition to your pending stimulus check — to get a good picture of how long your money will stretch.
However, don’t wait until you’re in dire financial straits to seek assistance with your basic needs.
“Reach out now if you can foresee problems [paying bills],” said Chris Preston, vice president of corporate relations at United Way Worldwide.
Increase Your Savings
Let’s say you’re still working and bringing in enough money to cover your essential needs. Look to using your stimulus check to bolster your emergency fund.
No one can predict how long this pandemic will last. Less than a month of shelter-at-home advisories has forced industries to change how they do business, and many have all but shut down. The job you have today may not be guaranteed if this crisis continues.
While the typical advice is to have at least three months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, you might want to bump that to at least six months. Your emergency fund should help you feel financially secure.
Separate your emergency savings from your spending money. A high-yield savings account will earn interest while your money’s sitting in the bank.
Think About Your Future
If your needs are being covered and you have a robust emergency fund, consider spending the money you’ll get from the stimulus bill to set yourself up for a better financial future.
Taking a certification course could position you for a promotion or new job. Alternatively, you could use the money as seed capital to pursue an entrepreneurial path.
Making a dent in your debt or paying a large bill upfront rather than over time could help you save money in the long run.
You also might want to think about using your stimulus money to cover upfront expenses that’ll help you save money over time. That could mean buying gardening supplies so you can grow your own produce and cut costs on groceries. Or maybe you want to buy reusable products like cloth diapers or a bidet attachment so you can stop buying throw-away goods.
If you’re in a financially stable situation with a healthy emergency fund, another good use of your stimulus money could be to help others.
Use the extra cash to help a family member or friend in need or donate to a reputable charity. Or you could spend your money at local businesses and restaurants — whether that’s through online orders or purchasing gift cards for future in-person visits.
You don’t have to have a financial surplus, however, to find ways to help others. Donating blood, going grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor or troubleshooting teleworking tech for a friend are all ways you can be of service without spending money.
Feeling overwhelmed? Create a budget that works for you with our budgeting bootcamp!
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Forgivable SBA Loans For 2.5x Monthly Payroll
If you are a small business impacted by COVID-19, including self-employed and independent contractors, you have hopefully been following the developments of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) being rolled out by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury. Details are still being ironed out, but PPP could cover up to 2.5 months of your payroll costs. Here are some general highlights from the Treasury PPP overview PDF along with some details from the Bank of America PPP application:
Loan Amount = 2.5 times Average Monthly Payroll. “The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.” In the Bank of America PPP application, two possible options given were to use 2019 payroll or 2019 1099-MISC totals, and then multiple the average monthly payroll by 2.5. So if you averaged $6,000 per month, you can ask for a loan for $15,000. Income over $100,000 annually per employee isn’t covered. Here are some details:
For purposes of calculating “Average Monthly Payroll”, most Applicants will use the average monthly payroll for 2019, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. For seasonal businesses, the Applicant may elect to instead use average monthly payroll for the time period between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. For new businesses, average monthly payroll may be calculated using the time period from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
Fully Forgiven. “Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.”
In my Bank of America, the details are given that it is a 2-year loan at fixed 1% interest. As noted, payments are deferred for the first 6 months. If you use the money in an eligible manner (see below), it is fully forgiven and not treated as taxable income.
Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly. “Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.” In other words, this is supposed to encourage companies to keep employees and is separate from unemployment insurance.
All Small Businesses Eligible. “Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.”
Businesses are limited to one PPP loan. Each loan will be registered under a Taxpayer Identification Number at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to prevent multiple loans to the same entity. Owners with more than one business may apply for a separate loan for each entity.
Application Dates and Details. “Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. […] You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.”
While technically you can apply at any SBA 7(a) lender, as of 4/5 many of them don’t even have any formal application process at all! Bank of America started accepting applications early, but first required both an existing BofA business checking relationship AND a BofA loan relationship as of 2/15/20. They later relaxed the rules to require at least an existing BofA business checking relationship as of 2/15/20. Most banks are limiting the applications to existing clients:
- SBA Eligible Lender locator
- Bank of America application (must have existing relationship)
- Chase Bank application (must have existing relationship)
- Wells Fargo Bank application (must have existing relationship)
- PNC Bank application (must have existing relationship)
- Capital One info page
- Citi info page
In addition, the US Treasury now has a paper application that you can submit to any eligible lender. I have no idea what will be the best. Small local bank? Mega bank? I would assume that if you have an existing relationship with a bank, they would be able to just deposit the money into your primary business account. But I’ve learned to stop making assumptions in 2020!
The funds are supposed to go out first come, first served, although they may expand the amount available. I’m sure that is not helping the chaos. No documentation was required upfront for BofA, but I would get your payroll documentation ready to submit as soon as they ask for it.
“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”
Copyright © 2019 MyMoneyBlog.com. All Rights Reserved. Do not re-syndicate without permission.
HDFC All Miles Credit Card Review
|HDFC All Miles Credit Card Rating|
|Reward Points ★★★
Travel Benefits ★★
Annual Fee ★★
Offers & Discounts ★★
Additional Benefits ★★★
|Paisabazaar’s Rating ★★★|
HDFC All Miles Credit Card lets you earn reward points on every purchase you make. The accumulated points can then be converted to air miles, which can then be used to book flight tickets in the future. This card accelerates reward earning rate thereby facilitating redemption of rewards for air miles. If you are a frequent traveller, this card can be the right choice for you. Hence to make the decision a lot easier for you, we have given a detailed review of the card that will help to decide if this card suits your needs or not.
Key Highlights of HDFC All Miles Credit Card
Earn Reward Points on every transaction
Save as you travel, shop, dine and more with the HDFC All Miles Credit Card. Here’s what you get with this card-
●3 reward points for every Rs.150 you spend
●2X reward points on hotel bookings, mobile recharge, shopping etc
●Double reward points on transactions made via All Miles website
All the eligible retail transactions let you earn reward points on every purchase made. In this way, you can surely earn rewards at a faster pace. All the accumulated points can then be redeemed and further converted to air miles for future bookings. It can be said that the card is indeed offering decent reward points when compared to other similar cards.
Read more about HDFC Bank Credit Card Reward Points
With this card you can get 1% fuel surcharge waived off on all fuel transactions. For this-
- Minimum transaction of Rs.400 is required
- You can get a maximum cashback of Rs.500 per statement cycle
A majority of cards nowadays offer benefits of fuel surcharge waiver. However if you are exclusively looking for fuel benefits, you should look for other cards that prioritise fuel discounts.
Get your Annual Fee waived off
Just by spending Rs.15,000 within the first 90 days of your card opening, you can get your 1st year’s annual fee waived off. You have the option to renew your membership for free just by spending Rs.1 lakh in a year. This is one of the great benefits that this card provides you with.
Enjoy 50 days of interest-free credit
With this card you can enjoy 50 days of interest-free credit period. However interest rate of 3.49% will be charged on any outstanding amount carried beyond the bill due date.
Avail zero lost card liability facility
If your card is missing or has been stolen, you need to immediately contact your bank’s customer care for card blocking. Once you report the issue, you will not be held responsible for any unauthorized or fraudulent transactions made using your card.
Is Rs.1000 Annual Fee Justified?
Well it is true to say that if you compare the benefits that the card offers to other similar cards having the same annual fee, this card surely lacks behind. The reward points offered are good but fails to justify the Rs.1000 annual fee. However, for your reference we have listed below the other fees and charges related to this card.
|Primary Features||Fees / Charges|
|Interest Rate||3.49% per month (41.88% p.a.)|
|Rewards redemption fee||Rs.99 per request|
|Cash advance fee||Rs.2.5% of the amount withdrawn subject to a minimum of Rs.500|
|Late Payment Charges||Less than Rs.100: Nil
Rs.100 to Rs.500: 100
Rs.501 to Rs.5,000: Rs.500
Rs.5,001 to Rs.10,000: Rs.600
Rs.10,001 to Rs.25,000: Rs.800
Greater than Rs.25,000: Rs.950
|Minimum repayment amount||5% of the outstanding balance or Rs.200, whichever is higher|
|Reissue of Credit Card||Rs.100|
Should you go for this card?
The first question that will come to your mind will be whether you should or should not opt for this card. Hence for your convenience, we have laid down certain points that might help you decide whether this card is the best choice for you. The card is best for you if-
- You frequently book air tickets online
- You are more inclined towards earning reward points than availing cashback
- You are not looking for any category specific discount
- You are not interested in putting major expenses on your card
- You are not looking for any welcome bonuses
If the above listed points match your requirements, undoubtedly this card is best for you. If the card fails to match your needs, you can look for other similar rewards credit cards with more benefits and comparatively lower annual fee like American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Rewards Domestic and Standard Chartered Landmark Rewards
Limitations of HDFC All Miles Credit Card
Although the card provides certain benefits to you in the form of reward points and air miles, there are certain drawbacks attached to it. Some of the limitations of this card are-
- The reward points are not that great as compared to other HDFC Credit Cards.
- The annual fee is not justified in terms of what all benefits the card provides.
- There are no discounts on entertainment, shopping or movies.
- If you are a shopaholic, this card is definitely not the one for you.
- The card does not offer any milestone reward.
- No lounge access is provided by the card.
- It does not provide any exclusive discount on air ticket bookings.
Overall, this card is surely not amongst the best credit cards in the market. Although the card offers decent reward points, it still fails to justify the Rs.1000 annual fee. The card does fall behind to provide any category specific discount to you, however the air miles facility is an added advantage. You can surely go for this card if you are a frequent flyer however there are many cards that comparatively provide more benefits that too at the same annual fee.
The post HDFC All Miles Credit Card Review appeared first on Compare & Apply Loans & Credit Cards in India- Paisabazaar.com.
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