9 Things To Buy On Black Friday That Will Save You Money

Most of us are pretty irrational when it comes to our spending habits. We don’t think twice about small daily purchases — but if a price tag crosses a certain threshold, we start to feel uncomfortable about our buying decision.

This mindset is not good for your bank account. Small purchases are usually low-value and have a very short gratification period. Larger purchases, while a bigger investment, usually pay for themselves and continue to improve our lives over time.

With all of the holiday sales starting, now is a great time to start thinking harder about the things you buy.

This Black Friday I challenge you to rate purchases in terms of value and long-term return. Avoid picking up a bunch of cheap things just because they’re a “great deal” and go for items that will improve your life and save you money next year. Here are nine examples of purchases that check both boxes and are even better buys on Black Friday.

1) Restaurant Gift Cards

You probably don’t have every weekend planned out for 2019 but one thing I can guarantee you’ll do is eat at your favorite restaurant.

On Black Friday, many restaurants offer a bonus gift card when you purchase a certain denomination (you’ll see deals like buy a $100 gift card and get an extra $20). This is a great way to lower your food spend in 2019 without changing your eating habits. Just check the fine print as some “bonus” gift cards will need to be spent by a certain date.

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2) Fitness Equipment with Live Classes

Fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape. But they can get expensive. A spin class costs $20 on average, and that price can be even higher at some studios. Attending class three times per week means you’re likely spending at least $250 per month or $3,000 per year on spin class.

If attending classes in person isn’t a priority for you, then purchasing an at-home solution can help you meet both your fitness and financial goals.

Fitness equipment with live classes, like a Peloton bike, are often viewed as fancy and expensive but when you break down the costs, they are usually much cheaper. Peloton’s 0% financing options currently allow you to pay $58 per month for their equipment and $39 per month for their membership. That means your all-in cost is about $100 per month — or less than half of what you’d pay at a studio.

3) Blender

That post-workout smoothie from the shop next to your gym might be great for your health but it’s destroying your food budget. Splurge on a fancy blender instead and make your own at home to seriously cut costs.

Even a top of the line blender like a Vitamix (starting at $289.95) will pay for itself in a few months if a smoothie stop is part of your regular routine. As a bonus, owning this new appliance may also inspire you to make your own almond milk or soups and further reduce your food spend in 2019.

4) Cooking Equipment and Meal Kits

Millennials are known for our love of dining out but while fast casual restaurants and delivery services are extremely convenient, they’re often not great for our health or wallets.

Learning how to cook a few of your favorite dishes well can save you tons of money and calories. Plus it’s a pretty useful life skill to have.

A great way to get started on your cooking journey is to opt into a meal-kit delivery service like Sunbasket or Blue Apron, both of which are currently offering $60 off. Their easy-to-follow recipes and home delivery make cooking a breeze for even the most novice of chefs. And if you need basic cooking equipment to get started, there are countless Black Friday deals you can take advantage of.

5) Wardrobe Staples

The avalanche of promotional Black Friday emails from retailers have already started. Most people open those emails, spot a few things they like, and make an impulse purchase. When the item arrives, they maybe wear it once or twice and then forget about it because it wasn’t practical or something that they even really wanted.

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it. (Repeat that three times.) Instead, take advantage of low prices by buying high quality wardrobe staples that will constantly be in rotation and can handle the wear.

An easy way to determine if an item is worth buying is its cost per use. Divide the cost by the number of times you think you’ll wear the outfit in a year.

6) Coffee or Espresso Machine

If you love your morning Starbucks run, this is not for you. But if you get annoyed every time you see a $5 latte listed on your credit card statement, then investing in a top quality coffee or espresso machine can save you a ton of money.

You can replicate exactly what the barista is doing at your favorite coffee shop, but for a fraction of the cost. And since you control the inputs, you can even get your daily brew to the point where it tastes exactly how you want it to.

7) Sports Equipment

Repeatedly renting sports equipment like a paddleboard or ice skates can get expensive. If there’s a hobby you enjoy that involves equipment rental, tally up how much you’ve spent on your rentals this year. Chances are that if you rent often, it may be cheaper to buy. And owning may incentivize you to indulge in your hobby even more than you already do which should make you happier.

8) Annual Park Passes

Paying an admission fee every time you want to visit one of your favorite places can add up. Getting a discounted annual pass to your local national park or theme park means you’ll always have a fun place to go and your cost per visit will go down.

[“source=forbes]

Save Your Wardrobe Fashion App Promises Double Whammy Of More Streamlined & Sustainable Living

Ever since Japanese ‘organizing consultant’ Marie Kondo’s consistently best-selling 2011 opus The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up de-cluttering has become an international obsession, part of a pseudo-spiritual quest for more meaningful living. And with good reason; according to the UK arm of US weight loss business Weight Watchers there is currently at least £10.5bn of unworn items in Britain’s wardrobes. While part of that figure comes from too-wishful thinking (the extra pounds never shifted, the clothes that never fit) there’s also the more significant story of too much stuff presenting a simple lack of visibility, clouding our judgement regarding what we need or want to buy next. The result is a vastly unsatisfying cycle of irrelevant things and increasingly flabby shopper-brand relationships.

Reclaiming the peace of mind that comes with neither wasting precious resources or your own cold hard cash is what London-based Save Your Wardrobe Co-Founder Hasna Kourda, an economics and corporate strategy graduate and a former luxury fashion sales assistant, is banking on: “When I worked in retail I saw a massive loss of trust between consumers and brands because people constantly felt they were being given the hard sell, not serviced according to what they really wanted or needed. Part of the aim of this concept, which fundamentally remedies the fact most people don’t even know what’s in their own wardrobe, is to re-build loyalty and create relevancy, which will raise sales figures if not numbers of ‘things’ sold.”

The app, which is free to users (brands will pay for the data/insights it delivers) is rooted in the building of an entire virtual wardrobe. This happens in two ways to encompass both new and existing items. Firstly, using advanced computer vision tech users can photograph their existing clothing which the system will then categorize, in most cases even establishing the brand. Secondly, users can allow (ostensibly via Google GOOGL +0.21%permissions) their digital receipts to be automatically read. Assuming the brand in question is affiliated to SYW via an AP the system will recognize the SKU, allowing it to register every detail including size, color, and date of purchase. A 30-day cooling period will adjust the data should items be returned.

Alex Holyoake / Unsplash

Computer vision tech will recognize and categorize items (Credit: Alex Holyoake).

In order to avoid the system becoming nothing more than a backwards-looking personal fashion filter bubble -rendering it much harder to offer suggestions or predict new influences – SYW is currently working with vast fashion shopping network ShopStyle’s database of brands so users can also browse a vast number of brands to create product wish-lists. Later, it will also tap into users’ social media activity to flesh out their profiles still further.

The system will also be connected to users’ calendars, so it knows, for example, when they’re due to go on holiday, and to where, or when they have a job interview coming up and will send them product recommendations. Users have a dashboard showing both their curated selections of clothing for various occasions (“playlists of outfits”) as well as their full digitized wardrobe, generating an enormous sense of control.

For brands investing in the concept as a tool to help them plan, produce, market and/or buy more accurately, the critical factor is that it will provide a window onto tastes and preferences, grouping users into clusters and micro segments – essentially people exhibiting similar desires, behaviors or attitudes. Because it straddles multiple brands it’s a more realistic reflection of real life; the non-brand-monogamous consumer at play .

A second layer, devised to take the intelligence offered to the next level, is the introduction of a suite of core services – dry cleaning, repairs, re-sales and alteration – that Kourda believes will spotlight how users feel about their clothing. It will, she suggests, present a kind of longer-than-usual narrative for products, understanding them not as single purchases but an ongoing story that reflects the attitudes of their owners. “This is where online fashion retail has become slightly unstuck,” says Kourda. “It doesn’t present the full picture of searching, buying and aftercare over time and nor does it tap into the notion of buying mindfully.”

Furthering the notion of a more mindful mode of operating in general, drawing on her own experiences of luxury selling, Kourda believes the app’s success will lie in “assisting not annoying people with relentless alerts. It’s about understanding the key moments. For that reason, we won’t be pestering people by sending notifications [that appear outside the app, on users’ home-screens]. We believe that getting the timing right is what will create a ‘sticky’ system’.” No ads, nor sponsored content affirm a commitment to useful engagement over mercenary marketing.

As with any algorithm/machine learning based system the more parties involved and the more data is accrued the more pertinent the suggestions. “There is an opportunity here for real relevancy, rather than creating product and then working out how to sell it to people,” says Kourda. “We want people [customers and brands] not to think of store as cash machines chasing money but places for amplified experiences and connections. Customers want to feel ‘seen’, they actively expect it.”

source:-forbes.