How to Prepare Yourself for Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday should be a premeditated event. Something you've already thoughtfully weighed and considered before blowing out your credit card or gotten so flustered you silently shut your laptop and walk to the fridge for a cold beverage of choice, avoiding any social interaction until Tuesday.

According to TheStreet's Brian Sozzi: "Online sales for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday reached $5.27 billion, up a strong 17.7% from last year, according to new data Saturday from Adobe. Black Friday set a new record by ringing up $3.34 billion in sales, an increase of 21.3% year over year."

Knowing that kind of damage has already been done, it's your best bet to have your list of items ready for speedy purchase. Once a Cyber Monday special is out of stock, it's gone, and you'll have to begrudgingly pay a heftier price once it's restocked. And you don't want to be embittered about orders, the whole point of online shopping is the convenience and joy of receiving packages, like an adult self-funded Christmas.

Save yourself time, money and energy with a three-step Cyber Monday game plan.

Step 1: Ask yourself, what do I need?
Cyber Monday is a great day to get all those silly necessities you don't want to pay full price for. Like socks, yard tools and holiday presents for other people. By making a list (or Pinterest board if you're a more visual person) of stuff that would be wise to purchase in one fell swoop, you'll be less likely to become distracted from the task at hand--getting the boring stuff on heavy discount.

Step 2: Ask yourself, what do I want?
Maybe it's that suit you've been eyeing forever or a bigger TV because you deserve it. Prioritize those unnecessary--but warranted--purchases by how desperately you want them and how much they'll cost you.

Step 3: Ask yourself, what can I afford?
Doing the math for how much essential stuff you need to buy is kind of the whole point of this whole exercise. By allowing yourself a certain budget you can't go over, you know how much superfluous stuff you're allowed after taking care of the real business.

Now, go forth and conquer! ... Within reason.

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