6 Cyber Monday Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Retirement

I want you to win in business and in life. That’s why I want to help you avoid any mistakes that set you back in your retirement.

Shopping blunders on Cyber Monday can become one of those setbacks. You don’t want to spend months trying to repair the financial damage caused by careless Christmas shopping. Avoid these common Cyber Monday mistakes to keep you moving toward your retirement dream even during the holiday season.

1. Buying on Cyber Monday

No, this isn’t a typo. Don’t wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to shop for online deals. Time magazine reported that retailers start offering discounts at the beginning of November! Oh, and wait to buy toys. Those deep discounts kick in mid-December—not Cyber Monday.

2. Buying With FOMO Fever

FOMO stands for “fear of missing out.” Don’t purchase something because you’re afraid of missing out on the deal. Those 10-minute flash discounts that pop up on your computer are designed to elicit fear, so don’t cave! Haste makes mistakes. If you’re feeling the pressure to buy, back away from your mouse! Only buy the item if it’s on your list for the price you want.

3. Buying Without a List

Without a list, you’ll buy for people who you hadn’t intended to because a random item reminded you of them. Not only will you kill your budget, but you’ll also make that other person feel bad if you don’t normally exchange presents. You know that feeling. Just send a text that says, “I saw _____ today and it reminded me of the time we . . .” They’ll be grateful—and it didn’t cost you anything!

4. Buying Without a Budget

This is a definite no-no! Without a budget, you’ll spend more than you wanted. Guaranteed! Stick to your Christmas budget. If you don’t have one, make one before you go online. That way, come January, you’re on track with your monthly budget and retirement savings instead of playing catch-up. And never, ever use credit cards to pay for Christmas. Remember, debt delays your retirement dreams!

Related: Avoid a Holiday (Budget) Hangover

5. Buying on an Unsecured Network

Unfortunately, the season of giving is also the season of taking—your money. That’s why it’s important to keep cyber crooks away. Make sure you’re on a private, password-protected Wi-Fi network. Shopping at a coffee shop may feel cozy, but it’s not safe. And buy from sites that start with “https” instead of “http.” That “s” stands for secured. Hackers are less likely to hit sites with added security.

6. Buying Without Coupon Codes

Before placing your order—or even shopping—always look for any online coupon codes for that retailer. Just search for “[store name] coupon code.” You’ll get a list of sites that collect and keep track of active codes retailers will honor. Just copy and paste the code onto the retailer’s site. A few minutes of searching could pay off big-time!

I don’t want anything—especially the commercial traps of the holiday season—to derail your retirement dream. By being smart on Cyber Monday, you can stay on track with your monthly budget and retirement savings. When you retire sooner than you ever thought you could, you’ll be grateful you played it smart!