Surviving Black Friday, CyberMonday and other holiday shopping waves

black-friday

The day after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday”, is the first of the holidays’ shopping big waves. It is the time of the year where retailers and online stores push their products to next levels. “Cyber Monday” was originally created to make additional offers to employees returning to work. Today, with more home computers, tablets, and smartphones, consumers do not have to wait until Monday to start getting the cyber deals. Last week we were even able to dig into all newspapers’ flyers online before they were in the streets. These waves also bring “sharks” closer to us. Scams, misleading offers, and increases in credit card debt are also part of this shopping “cybersea”. Here are some tips to survive these holidays’ shopping waves.

1. Be a smart shopper. Don’t buy things that you don’t need, with money that you don’t have to impress people you don’t know. Value your money and your time. I saw people spending days camping outside stores since Tuesday to save money. This could be a saving if your productive time is less valuable. If you know how to buy the things that you really need, you do not have to expend time outside a store.  You search, search, and save until you find the exact deal that works for you. I saw people waiting days in a tent to then get a laptop what was not what they expected.

2. Plan your shopping well in advance. If you know what you really need, you can plan ahead of time and search for the right product and the right deal. Make lists of things you really need, not things that you just want. Narrow your list and you will discover that you already have something in your list that it is hidden in the clutter in your garage or your closet. Most of my neighbors park their expensive cars in the driveway because their garages are cluttered with stuff they barely use. Be generous and give away things that you do no use. Prosperity is about flowing and giving to others. Be familiar with your favorite stores and learn when they have special sales or clearance racks. Everyday could be a “black Friday” if you are a good explorer.

3. Avoid the holidays’ debt tsunami. The most difficult part of surviving holidays’ shopping waves is to control your credit cards. Many people start the new year complaining about their increased new credit card debt. Controlling new debt requires a lot of discipline. It takes several years to break these habits. However, you do not have to wait for a loss of income to control this tsunami. Extra expending is just an emotional gratification. Controlling what you expend can be done by planning ahead. If you plan well in advance, you may save money and use them avoiding credit card use. Giving is an art that should be a way of life. When you give your time, talent and money to others, prosperity will follows. However, expending money that you don’t have to buy expensive gifts is not the essence of giving. You can reduce your list of gifts and buy symbolic gifts that have more meaning and emotional value than a gift that will be returned to the store after Christmas. Remember the reason for the season. Enjoy the season by starting a new year without new credit card debt. Credit cards should be used for real emergencies.

In all cases, marketers will do the effort to keep us in the shopping waves all year. After Christmas, and New Year sales, we will bombarded by Valentine’s day, Spring, Easter, Mothers and Fathers Day, Summer, Back to School, Fall, and Halloween to start listening to Christmas songs again before Thanksgiving. Plan and control your expenses to be prepared to ride all the shopping waves. Enjoy the journey.

Original blog 2011.

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Top Posts of #InstaScoutInterview: Why is Scouting important? Less than a minute videos.

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During XXVI International Scout Conference in Houston Texas, Scouters from most Interamerican Scout Region countries were interviewed about the importance of Scouting. All videos are less than a minute as we were using Instagram Story that limit the videos to 15 seconds. Other videos were uploaded to Instagram with a limit of 60 seconds. Watch all videos via instagram.com/scoutmasterjose. Search #InstaScoutInterview and #InstaScoutStory.

You can also see short videos about 2017 JamCam, 2017 MOOT, and 2019 World Scout Jamboree. Candidates for 2023 World Scout Jamboree from Poland and South Korea also did their short videos. Instagram Story feature was also used to initiate theses videos. Search hashtag #InstaScoutInterview displayed the #TopPosts.

#Scoutoons idea came from the #TopPosts screen in Instagram and the branding of IAR70, IASC2016 and #MessengersOfPeace in our #2015WSJ belt. #TopPosts are: #ScoutsHonduras Lecheton, #ScoutsVenezuela #YouthForum, Joao Goncalves, #WOSM Committee Chairperson, #Vision2023, #VenturingNationalPresident, #BadenPowell, #ScoutsSouthKorea #2023WSJ, #2019WSJ #ScoutsCanada #ScoutsUSA #ScoutsMexico, #ScoutsArgentina #ScoutsUruguay, and Fr. Jacques. This is a sample that represents more than 60 short videos done in 4 days of #ScoutIAR conference. #HashtagLearning

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The Skouttish Khronicles. North Florida Scouts in Scotland. #BlairAtholl2016

The Skouting Khronicles. North Florida Scouts in Edinburgh and 35th International Scottish Patrol Jamborette in Blair Atholl, Scotland.

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Climb Every Mountain. A Personal SWOT Analysis

2016 SWOT Climb Mountain Color.png

Climb Every Mountain. A Personal SWOT Analysis will help you in identifying your own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Once you know all of them you have to climb your own mountains to improve your strengths, reduce your weaknesses, maximize your opportunities and minimize your threats. All mountains are important as they provide valuable lessons to continue to re-evaluate your personal SWOT and climb your next mountains. Life is a continues adventure going up and down. Enjoy the journey and the views.

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Focus and Re-focus. Team and personal projects.

This is an updated color version of our old “Focus, focus!” drawing. It is still relevant when forming teams or working on personal projects.

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Teamwork is vital in any organization and productive meetings are very important in team dynamics. Meetings provide the ground to move from one stage to another. In the forming stage we have to brainstorm and find the proper direction to fulfill our team objectives. It is time to focus and find the lighthouse to ensure a safe navigation. This was our first meeting to find the focus to bring more underrepresented high school students to the computing disciplines programs offered by our college. This picture fits in any forming team. Focus, focus! (Feb 2009 – http://www.managementadventures.org)

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Our Next White House Manager. 2016 Color Update

Presidential Primaries in Florida 2016. Eight years after the original drawing about our White House’s next manager. A new President will be elected and we still have storms. An updated color version shows the shades of stormy seas and cloudy days. I voted in the primaries and I will do it again in November. I voted for the first time in 2008 and I know my responsibility as “American by choice”. Let’s vote!

2008 Next Manager White House Color 2016

josetoons & scoutoons

The second part of our fall term starts during the last two weeks of the presidential campaign. After several weeks of financial storms, our nation is getting ready to elect our next president. We normally say that great captains are tested during the storms and that great leaders are tested during a crisis or emergency. Our next White House manager has to be a great captain and leader to be able to bring our nation to safer waters. Remember to vote. This is one of the best rights in the USA. 

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Presidential Election 2016

We voted again in primaries for 2016 Presidential Election. Here is the same drawing from 2008 in color. As American By Choice we give importance to the value of a vote.

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josetoons & scoutoons


It is time to vote in the general elections on November 4th. It is a huge responsibility to participate and elect our next president, other public functionaries, and to decide on several amendments. Our decisions are important and the weight of those decisions are heavy. The “I voted” sticker represents the weight of our decisions. It marks us for doing both our duty and our right to vote. The “Early Voting Site’ sign shows us that we believe in our electoral system. We can vote before and know that our vote will be counted. Please remember to vote. It is heavy but you will feel lighter after voting. My wife and I voted for the first time in a US presidential election and we feel great and grateful.

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