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Black Friday: To Shop or Not To Shop?

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s also National Buy Nothing Day. Learn to avoid credit card debt whether you decide to shop or not.

Our credit counseling advice is to have a shopping plan.

Our credit counseling advice is to have a shopping plan.

Avoiding Credit Card Debt on Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving probably means one of two things for you: shopping or staying at home. There are merits to both National Buy Nothing Day and Black Friday shopping. The only bad choice is creating more consumer debt for yourself. So should you shop or not? And what are the best things to buy?

Pros of Black Friday Shopping

  • The biggest bonus for shopping on Black Friday is, obviously, the general discounts. Many retailers will provide at least a small sale on their biggest items, and most offer big sales on even their smallest items. However, this doesn’t always mean you’ll find deals on everything.
  • Electronics are usually the biggest sellers on Black Friday, and are offered at the biggest discounts. So if you need electronics, shopping on Black Friday can be a very smart move. Remember not to upgrade out of the budget or face having to pay off credit card debt.
  • Some people make a tradition out of it. It can be a day of quality time with close family or a group of friends. It can become an outing that you look forward to every year.
  • If all goes as planned, you have the opportunity to get all your holiday shopping done in one day with no credit card debt.

Cons of Black Friday Shopping

  • The most obvious drawback is dealing with the crowds. There are people everywhere and most are running on little sleep. People become impatient and mean in their search for the best discount. Keep the holiday spirit alive and remember no deal is worth a fist fight.
  • Paying off credit cards is not a spending plan. Even though you have lots of credit available, doesn’t mean you should use it all for shopping. If you tend to overspend, this can be a big drawback to Black Friday shopping.
  • Most of the best deals are limited. If you don’t start standing in line at the crack of dawn or even the night before, you will most likely find that the best deals that you came looking for are sold out.
  • Impulse buying is much more likely to happen. Retailers actually depend on it. They know that the best deals are going to sell out in a flash, but you won’t know that until you are already in the store. You will most likely look around and end up buying things that you had not planned (or budgeted) for and then needing to figure out how to get out of debt fast.

Understanding your finances going into the holiday shopping season is essential. You also need to know your own shopping habits and make the decision to shop or not to shop on Black Friday.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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