One of the most important things about being an entrepreneur is knowing what your own financing is capable of. You have your product, you realize what it’s worth but it’s not quite there yielding a consistent income flow.

Whether you’re in that category or have a consistent good income flow, it’s always good to have a budgeting plan, for either business reasons or personal fun.

Black Friday is one of those days that retailers try to get a boost in their profit by making you come into the store and buy, buy, buy. It is strategically put right before the end of their fiscal year so they get that last “run” of sales so to speak.

So is it worth it to wait in lines and buy these items on sale? Well, coming from personal experiences, here is the run down of technology (because I am a tech buff and that’s what my businesses run around) on stuff that you may consider getting for the holiday season, for yourself or others. Be wary though, we are still in an economic downturn so the deals of the yesteryear may in fact be better.

Note that all of below are prices compared to usual “deals” that happen throughout the year, as well as last year’s Black Friday. I’m also using my knowledge and memory so I am in way exact on everything I mention.

First up, we have the most notables from Best Buy:

One thing to know about Best Buy is their Insignia brand. It may seem like such a good deal with that brand but it usually fits into the “you-get-what-you-pay-for” aspect. The products Insignia make are usually very, very cheap without any sort of reliability. It can be sporadic at best. So I would steer clear of that brand.

  • Acer – 20″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD Monitor – Black – X203 – $79
    Acer’s are generally okay monitors but with the price of $79 for 20″ it’s hard to beat.
  • Dell – 20″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD HD Monitor – S2009W – $99
    A little more reliable, this a Dell monitor that is worth the $99 over the Acer. There was a point not too many years ago where $99 would get you a 17″. And as of yet, HD monitors are the sweet spot, but most on sale will not give you that. Especially this.
  • Western Digital – 1.5TB External USB 2.0, FireWire and eSATA Hard Drive – Black – WDH1CS15000N – $119
    Western Digital are the best drives you can get today. Seagate (who bought Maxtor) has been having a lot of problems with failures and firmware. Though the firmware issue has been fixed, the fact that such a widespread issue existed taints their recent reputation. Hitachis are also good, but for long lasting reliable hard drives (usually, there are DOA [Dead-on-Arrival] HDs every once in a while). This deal is probably a mild-to-good deal, nothing too great about it. But if you need some extra storage space, go for it!
  • HP Desktop – AMD Quad Core Processor, 20″ Widescreen LCD, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD, FREE Printer – $499
    There’s nothing like a desktop deal. There is an eMachine that costs $299. I’ve had an eMachine before and they are decent machines with alright reliability – much more than the Insignia brand. However, for $499 you get more of a popular brand name, HP. You get 4 cores, 20″ monitor (in which it is an HP who rank up there in monitors as well), 8GB of Ram, 1TB drive and a free printer. Enough said. There is no word on the graphics chip, but with the current specs, the price of $499 makes it well worth it for its abilities and today’s technology standards.
  • HP – Photosmart Wireless Multifunction Printer/ Copier/ Scanner – C4795 – $65
    The ‘rents of a wireless printer and it’s about time that products like this come down in price. That being said, HP has had problems in the past with their printers, but generally their reputation is pretty good. So, if you have the urge to centralize a printer because of the fact multiple people might use it, get this! It also has a scanner. What is missing though, is the ability to fax. However, I recall printers like this usually cost above the $80 mark.
  • LG Chocolate Touch w/ 2-Year Activation – FREE
    Yes you need a 2-year activation contract. But, if you cannot afford a cool phone like the iPhone (which you can get for $99 now) or you do not care about how good a phone is, this will be a good intro into where the phone industry is going these days. It’s the beginning of the PDA & Phone convergence. It’s not quite there for being a replacement for your laptop however, and I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen in the near future.
  • Insignia – Blu-ray Disc Player with 1080p Output – NS-BRDVD3 – $99
    Ok, so this is the one time I’ll say it’s “okay” to buy Insignia. It’s the cheapest Blu-ray player I’ve seen yet and the reviews are good. Then again, how hard is it to mess up building a DVD or Blu-ray player if you’re abiding by specs and standards? So if you’re in the mood of moving to the HD craze – make sure you have an HD 1080P set! – try this on for size to start your Blu-ray collection. If you have a 720P set, realize that there are upconverting DVD players that in fact make your old DVD collection look REAL GOOD!
  • Sprint – BlackBerry Curve 8330 Mobile Phone – SP8330RIMR - FREE
  • Sprint – Samsung Instinct S30 Mobile Phone – Purple – SPHM810PPS – FREE
  • Verizon – Motorola Rival A455 Cell Phone – Purple – A455 - FREE
  • Compaq Netbook – Atom Processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, XP Home – $179
    It may be from Compaq and may be a netbook that’s a year old, but these netbooks were around $250 a year ago with a deal for $215 maybe once. This is NOT a bad deal…
  • Samsung 40″ 1080p 60Hz LCD HDTV (LN40B500P3FXZA) – $598
    Samsung is one of the well-known quality brands of TVs. For $600, a 40″ HDTV with 1080p is a pretty good deal, especially from a company that’s been doing LCD monitors and TVs for a while now. They even get their panels rebranded by other high profile companies.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for the rest of the Black Friday deals as we look at technology from my personal favorite, Staples (funny enough), Walmart and Target. Until then, try to keep yourself nice and calm. So far the list with Black Friday is lukewarm at best, and you must ask yourself, is it worth the pain and effort to wake up early – around 4:00am – and wait in line with a ton of other people? If you are needing (key word for budgeting) multiple items, then why not. If you can wait on technology, then do so because there is no point in getting it unless you plan on reselling for profit. But again, the deals are lukewarm…

Until soon!