Black Friday shopping is usually synonymous with crowded stores and chaotic checkout lines, but this year will be different. Black Friday shopping during COVID-19 will probably involve more online than in-person sales. It’s often far easier for many people to spend money online because all it takes is a few clicks. Unfortunately, this can cause some people to overspend and go over budget, which is a slippery slope to credit card debt. ACCC has some tips for Black Friday shopping during COVID-19.
Tips for Black Friday Shopping During COVID-19
The most important thing to keep in mind this year is your own health and safety. Avoiding crowded indoor areas is important to stop the spread of COVID-19. Because of this, you may want to avoid in-person Black Friday shopping during COVID-19 altogether. Instead, look for online deals. Even if you’re exclusively online shopping, the same rules of sticking to your budget still apply. Here are a few general Black Friday spending rules to follow:
- Research deals and coupons online ahead of time for items you know you want to buy.
- Set a budget for the total amount you want to spend this Black Friday. Once you reach that amount, it’s time to stop shopping!
- Don’t spend more on your credit card than you can pay off when you get your next credit card bill. You always want to make sure you can pay your credit card bill on time and in full.
- Don’t buy an item you weren’t planning to buy just because you found a “good deal.” You’re still spending more money than you intended, even if it was 50% off!
Alternative to Black Friday Shopping
Instead of Black Friday, you could observe Buy Nothing Day. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you don’t buy a single thing! Rather than getting caught up in the consumerism of the holiday season, use Buy Nothing Day as a way to spend time with family without spending money. It’s a great way to avoid overspending and accumulating credit card debt.
For many Americans, this year has been financially straining, and you might not have as much to spend on the holidays as you did last year. For those who lost their jobs and have still not made up for the lost income, holiday spending may be significantly lower than in previous years… and that’s okay! Your friends and family will understand, and the holidays shouldn’t be about spending money on expensive gifts anyway. Don’t spend money you don’t have and get yourself in debt because of the holidays. Stick to your own financial goals, and prioritize your needs over your wants.
If you struggle to pay off credit card debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today!