After your family’s huge Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing you want to do is move from your spot on the floor. You have food to digest and a game to watch, but you may want to rethink your strategy. Black Friday is only moments away, and as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, it’s an opportunity to snag some amazing deals.

Last year, Americans spent more than $7 billion on November 24, with more than 154 million people shopping over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. That is a huge number of people you’ll have to compete with in the aisles. If you expect to survive the crowds, you’ll have to do more than dodge the sharp elbows of desperate shoppers. You can make sure you’re ready to shop ‘til you drop by following this simple guide to Black Friday.

Black friday

Never Leave Your House Without a Shopping List

Your shopping list is one of the most important additions to your Black Friday. Without it, it’s easy to let the crowds and signs distract you from your plan. You’re more likely to grab impulse items that you don’t need then snag the gifts you actually want to wrap up this year.

It doesn’t need to be anything fancy — even a scrap piece of paper with dot jots will suffice. However, if you want to go all out, download any of these shopping apps to help you tackle the malls.

Create a Game Plan

Though a list is better than nothing, it’s far from the only document you need to keep you on track. For the most effective Black Friday experience, go into the mall with a game plan. Know more than just what you need, but where you can get it and at what price. You can do some research online ahead of time to see if any promotions include your list items. Make a note of any store-wide deals that can help you cross off more people faster.

You should also know when things are cheaper online than in-store. While some retailers will have special sales available only to their real-life customers, others will have special deals on their online inventory.

Know Your Limits for the Holidays

Once you have a list and a game plan, your next step is a budget. This financial plan confirms you can afford what you want to get.

Though you’d love to spoil the people on your list with everything they want and more, your finances simply can’t afford it. Experts suggest you spend only 1.5 percent of your income on the entire holiday season, including everything from travel, entertaining, and accommodations.

If you fail to keep within your limits, not only are you throwing your holidays into jeopardy, but you’re also risking your finances for months to come. A budget is all about balance. When you overspend in one area of it, your indiscretions leave the rest of your budget off-kilter. This leaves your finances vulnerable to seemingly uncomplicated expenses. Things like a trip to the vet or mechanic’s can become a whole lot harder to handle when you’ve busted your budget on holiday shopping.

In the face of these emergencies, an online payday loan will always be there to help. Online lending makes it possible for lenders like MoneyKey to offer simple, convenient access to cash on an expedited timeline, so you can cover urgent bills or repairs without waiting too long. In some cases, you can even get the cash you need in just one business day.

While a great stopgap between paydays, they should never be an excuse to spend over your budget on events like Black Friday. To understand when and why you should be using these loans, visit for more information.

Information is an essential part of your Thanksgiving weekend. It helps you form an air-tight strategy, so you can collect on the year’s biggest deals. If you intend to take advantage of Black Friday deals, don’t leave your house without a plan.

The day is too busy for you not to know what you’re doing at the mall. Make sure you have a list, a game plan, and a budget. With these items guiding your shopping, you’ll have a better chance of getting what you need faster.