It’s that time of year where shopping discounts are attacking us from all fronts to purchase and buy more. HDTVs with 4K and curves, cheap laptops, and clothes are all marked down to their yearly lows.
Black Friday is the magical Friday after Thanksgiving when stores open early and mobs descend on doorbuster specials. Cyber Monday is the following Monday and focuses on online shopping. This weekend marks the start of the holiday shopping season and is celebrated with deep discounts of up to 50% if you’re lucky.
I will be the first to admit that I love Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas discounts. At times, it’s proven to be a huge drain on my finances and ambitions of building wealth. I would spend hundreds of dollars on things I didn’t need. Electronics are a weakness for me and my unused robotic vacuum cleaner is just one example of my overly ambitious discount shopping sprees.
But, I have also taken advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make purchases that will work towards building my wealth. You really do have to spend money to make money, but nothing says it can’t be done intelligently and at great discounts.
I want to help you learn from my successes and not follow my mistakes. This heavily discounted time of year can be beneficial to your wealth goals. And don’t think you have to specifically find deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Many are available the whole weekend and often times throughout the following week.
When I think of all the good purchases I’ve made over the years, three consistent themes emerge across the best purchases I’ve made.
Invest in Your Side Hustle or Business
Creating extra income is always a great way to build wealth. This extra income can help you acquire more income generating assets and eventually build strong passive income. Every business, whether an online blog or a small set of rental properties, has expenses and needs.
Cyber Monday and Black Friday are great ways to save hundreds on the key items your business needs. Laptops, printers, monitors, desks, or other normal business items can all be purchased for massive discounts. Your digital marketing or accounting software may offer deep cuts that save you money.
And if there is something you need to get started making money on the side, a new professional camera or a new tablet to help with graphic design, it’s hard to think of a better time to purchase than during the deep holiday discounts. If you are going to spend some money shopping, shop for something that will make you more money.
If you are a Mac fan like me when it comes to laptops, and you need a new one for your business, you’ll appreciate Best Buy’s Cyber Monday discounts on MacBook Pro models. Save up to $250 on one.
Find Regular Long-Term Savings
There are a lot of ways you can save money every day. Any money saved is more capital for investing. Cyber Monday and Black Friday can be great times to save on large items that will save you more over time.
For example, I’m a new father. My son has started eating solid foods, which means lots of expensive bottles and packets of baby food. It’s more cost effective to make baby food than buy it, so now is a good time to invest in a food processor. This will help us make our food and save hundreds over the next year or two.
Thinking about cutting the cord? Why not get the streaming device for a deep discount and finally make the cut? This single purchase can save you $100 every month in a lower cable bill. Are you renting your cable internet modem from your provider? Buy one for a few dollars and never pay a monthly rental fee again.
You know your life the best. Think about things you could invest in that would save you money month over month and use Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way to lower your monthly costs.
For example, if you are looking to cut the cord, Amazon has a strong tradition of deeply discounting their devices during the holidays. I use 2 Amazon Fire TV Sticks in my home because of their affordability and the general quality of their service, and they are always marked down during this time of year.
Saving on the Things You Need
There are a number of things you are always buying over time. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are good times to stock up on the basics instead of waiting for later. Buy a bottle of wine each week? Buy a case at a steep discount. Have your special brand of lotion? Stock up while it’s on sale.
If you are lucky enough to get gift cards at a discount, then you can stack up on future savings for things you’ll need. As long as the cards are for things you know you will buy, like gas or groceries, it’s the best kind of savings.
Savings passes and all-store discounts can help you save easily on the bare necessities. Find a 15% off everything pass and buy deodorant, printer ink, or bed sheets. Even stocking up on ketchup for the year can save you time and money in the long run.
One deal we found is Target offering 15% off everything. Yes, everything they sell. Since Target sells everything, then you can stock up on anything at a 15% discount. Couple that with the 5% savings on the RedCard, and it may make sense to buy lotion, deodorant, and makeup for the year.
Where to Start on Cyber Monday
Here are a couple of deals we’ve found to give you some inspiration for maximizing this Cyber Monday.
A new laptop can increase your productivity allowing you to work with better software, keep more documents and windows open at the same time, or offer greater portability for working remotely. If you have a digital side hustle or want to start one, a new laptop may help you make progress.
Best Buy is offering deals on MacBook Pros and is a great place to find deep discounts on all laptops. But, I personally find Staples, Office Depot, and office stores offer better prices on laptops with less competition in store and online.
Chromebooks and discount Windows machines can be purchased for under $200. When it comes to laptops, I go high-end and suggest finding a powerful machine at a steep discount compared to a basement bargain machine.
Whether real estate, marketing, consulting, or writing, your business or side hustle will probably deal with physical paper. I personally find myself having to scan documents for archiving constantly and printing occasionally.
Office Depot and Staples are going to offer wide selections with some great deals. My personal printer, a black & white laser printer with scanning and duplex, can be had for $129.99 at Office Depot, instead of $200.
If buying coffee is a part of your daily routine, easily add a few hundred dollars a week by purchasing a new coffee machine for your home. My Keurig, combined with some paper cups and nice flavored coffee pods, has saved me from many quick Starbucks trips and paid itself back over time. If lattes and cappuccinos are your things, you can stick with a Keurig, buy a milk steamer, or move up to a Nespresso machine. And don’t forget you can keep it simple with a french press or basic coffeemaker.
Target has a single serve K-cup machine for $89.99 with a $20 gift card. A great way to get up and running with coffee at home. Or, for about $10, this French Press on Amazon allows you to use normal ground coffee to make real coffee at home. Or if you want to be fancy, this Nespresso machine will set you back a little under $100 on Amazon.
Cooking at Home
If you struggle with cooking at home, it may be the trouble of finding a clean pot or pan that’s causing you issues. Maybe your spatulas are garbage and making spaghetti is a struggle without a strainer. Well, this is the time of year to spend a few bucks and double the number of times a week you cook. This is an investment that will pay off handsomely over time.
Target, Macy’s, JCPenney’s and Walmart are all great places to get a discounted cooking set. Target has a 15 piece set with pots & pans for $39.99 for example.
Crush Cyber Monday and Holiday Discounts
Now you can go out and ensure the purchases you make this holiday season are moving you towards wealth instead of just spending more. Just because everyone is using this as a chance to spend and take out debt for TVs and sound systems, you can use these same discounts to further invest in yourself.
If there is something particular you need, check here for ad flyers for all the big companies and their Cyber Monday deals. These examples are just here to get you started. Taking 5 minutes to search a few sites for something you need will be worth the time and extra money.
Have another recommendation or good deal? Leave a comment and share it with the community.
Damien is a Personal Finance Nerd and former Facebook Product Manager who started Wealth Noir to help others find wealth. He actively invests in stocks, robo advisors, and cryptocurrency … but loves real estate investing. He holds an MBA from MIT and a Comp Sci & Econ degrees from Unv. of MD. He’s a proud dad, which is his biggest accomplishment.