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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

Getting The Upper Hand During Black Friday

Magpies are well known for being attracted to shiny new colours. Black Friday can be the same for consumers, with big, bold advertising doing a great job of convincing people they cannot live without the latest bargain!

Online or instore shopping can be fraught with potential for wasted money. Purchases that seem like a great idea at the time can quickly turn sour and sit depreciating in value in the back of a closet or kitchen cupboard.

This short article gives you a few tips for avoiding that dreaded feeling when you are counting the cost of a poorly planned Black Friday!

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Go in armed with your plan!

Retailers spend months if not years planning each Black Friday. If you go in with no plan, you risk being at the mercy of the bright lights and shiny offers designed to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.

Going in with a plan helps you regain control.

During the build up to the big day, jot down anything that you think you might need or want a newer version of. On top of this you can put a bit of cash aside for any impulse buys you really like the look of – but plan and stick to a budget for this.

When you do this, have a look on a few websites and jot down some comparative prices. You will then build up a picture of what is a good price for those items. By doing this, you can avoid scrambling around at the last minute on Black Friday 2021 itself and potentially missing out on what genuinely are the best bargains.

When you have jotted these things down, calculate the average price for each item. Then add them all together to see if the final amount is going to cause you financial problems down the line. If not, great, then you are getting some genuine bargains. If they are, reduce your overall spend until you are at a level you can be comfortable with.

Make things manageable

Black Friday tends to span over several weeks now. To keep this manageable, limit yourself to spending on the actual day to keep your planning cycles organized. Despite what your inbox and popup ads may be telling you, stocks will still be available, so hold your nerve.

There are also a bunch of apps and comparison sites nowadays that help you stay on the pulse of the best bargains. Setup some notifications to get alerted of price changes. But the trick is not to be fooled into instant purchases – instead, simply use this data to guide your purchase when the time is right.

This approach may seem like overkill. But by applying this level of planning to your Black Friday experience, you can save yourself hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars. From a consumer’s perspective, the whole point of Black Friday should be to save money, not to be reckless with it.

If you take one thing from this article, remember that if you are not 100% sure about a purchase, then don’t make it. Sometimes the best purchases are the ones you don’t make.