Black Friday By The Numbers

Pinnacle Personnel Services  |  Debbie Hatch

A recent Prudential study shows that an alarming 57% of all employees across this country are stressed about their financial situation.  These are people that are working.

The top 3 reasons for this stress includes not being able to save for the future, difficulty paying monthly bills, and mounting credit card debt.  As a former single mom with two kids living on $410 per month, I get it.  I really do.



In less than one week, hordes of people will fight – sometimes literally – for the best retail deals.  Actually, it’s already begun.  We now have pre-black Friday sales.  No need to get up early on Friday morning – you can go to the stores Thursday afternoon.  You can get deals online one or two weeks earlier.  We’ll extend the sales through (at least) Cyber Monday.

According to the National Retail Federation , 174 million Americans are expected to shop over the weekend.  We’ll buy a bunch of stuff we can’t afford and don’t need simply because it’s on sale.


Mastercard SpendingPulse reported consumers spent $850 billion between Nov 1 and Dec 24 last year.  They expect similar numbers this year.


We talked in a Masters Financial Coaching program I’m in, just yesterday, about the fact that many of us spend more money in the last three months of the year than the previous nine added together.


Sadly, all of this means that once the cookies have been eaten and the decorations put away, many of us will be left with a holiday hangover and even more debt.


“Over 90% of people who shop today make occasional impulse purchases that they didn’t intend to buy initially.”


Before you go shopping, write down a holiday budget.  Seriously.  Go old school.  Put it on paper so you can look at it.  How much money do you have, or have coming in?  How much can you afford to spend?


When you’re out there, or online and you see something you just have to have, pause for one moment.  Right this very moment do you have the funds in your bank account to pay for this item?  Are you going to put it on a credit card?  Again, do you have the money in your bank account to pay that bill in full when it comes in?  Otherwise, the average credit card has a 17.21% interest rate – there goes your “amazing savings.”


Buy the things you can afford; the things you were going to get anyway while they’re on sale.  Ask yourself though: Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale? Sales work because we have a fear of missing out.  This is a great deal and it’s for a limited time! We tell ourselves we’re saving money. We say things like, “I wasn’t planning on buying anything but this was 40% off”.  My mother was notorious for doing this!  She’d come out with a whole cart load of stuff talking about how much money she saved – never about how much she had spent.


As for me, I sincerely don’t want things for the holidays.  I want to spend time with my family. I long to enjoy a cup of coffee with my kids, to sit and talk.  I want to read stories to my grandchildren and play games.  My gifts can be hand-drawn cards, painted handprints, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.


Will you shop this weekend?  Black Friday?  and/or Small Business Saturday?  and/or Cyber Monday?  Do you have a budget for the holidays?  I’d love to hear any tips you might have to share.




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