Save money and avoid credit card debt over Thanksgiving Weekend.
Thanksgiving Weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Black Friday has historically been the biggest shopping day of the year, although Cyber Monday has started to push its way to the top. During the weekend between the two, chances are good that you’ll knock out at least some of your holiday shopping.
Last year, 165 million Americans shopped in stores or online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. The average amount spent during the long weekend was $313.29, which is down from $335.47 in 2017. The National Retail Federation predicts big spending overall for the holiday season. Total sales are predicted to grow between 3.8 and 4.2 percent, meaning consumers will spend between $727.9 and $730.7 billion in total. The average household is expected to spend $1,048 this year. That’s a lot of money you may not have budgeted for!
Do you know how much you’re going to spend? Planning now can prevent you from piling on credit card debt while you shop for gifts. Especially if you plan on shopping in person on Black Friday, use cash instead of your cards. That way, when you get to the end of your cash, there’s no chance of adding to your debt.
Have a goal to finish the majority of your holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Use these videos to guide you in creating a strategy that will help you save money and avoid excessive credit card use:
Black Friday Shopping Tips
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only a couple days away. Make sure you’re prepared for this shopping season! Listen to some our favorite counselors as they share tips to make your Black Friday a successful one!
Prepare for your Black Friday!
April Lewis-Parks: The holidays are upon us, so we have some Black Friday shopping tips for you.
Start early! Sometimes I think the saying “the early bird gets the worm” was actually first started about Black Friday. And every successful bargain hunter knows it’s crucial to arrive early, but more importantly is to begin your Black Friday research and planning as soon as possible. Black Friday has crept earlier and earlier into the week, and each year discount devotees recognize this and spring into action before the masses get to the stores.
Now we have more Black Friday shopping advice from our favorite counselors!
Maria Gaitan: Do your homework. Check out the specials in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Study the ads in print and online before Thanksgiving. Watching these early deals will help you judge just how good the actual Black Friday sales really are once it’s crunch time.
Meghan Alard: My Black Friday tip is to check all store policies in advance. It’s good to know a store’s price match and return policies. We expect more retailers to price match specific online and in-store deals this year. Almost all of the retailers will have some form of price match policy, and they’ve been expanding almost every year.
Mona Acres: My shopping tip is loyalty counts. Most stores have loyalty programs that offer sales and promotions to their members first. Sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts for promotions, coupons and discounts. You can even find out if your products are in stock.
Charmaine Williams: My Black Friday shopping tip is to use social media. Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about deals and promotions. Those retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives;
Barry Rothman: Here’s my Black Friday tip: Create a budget and stick to it. Yeah, it sounds simple, but Black Friday sales – especially doorbuster specials – they’re available in limited quantities. And the point of it is so retailers can get you in the store to sell you something else. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend on your Black Friday shopping spree and do your best to resist impulse buying – especially if you’re not sure how good a specific deal is.
Kevin Feeley: My Black Friday tip is, remember that the cheapest TVs aren’t always the best deals. Doorbuster specials draw people in, but they may not offer the best product for your needs. This is especially true for big-ticket items, like TVs. If you’re not happy with its features or picture quality, you’ll wind up spending time regretting buying it, no matter what the price.
Taylor Sica: My Black Friday tip is to avoid pricey accessories. You just scored a giant, 4K TV at an all-time low price. So, don’t blow your savings by splurging on extended warranties or pricey accessories.
Andres Lopez: My shopping tip is to compare prices. If you spot a great deal at one retailer, check out some of the comparison websites, like FatWallet, PriceWatch.com and Shopping.com
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Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only a couple days away. Make sure you’re prepared for this shopping season! Listen to some our favorite counselors as they share tips to make your Cyber Monday a successful one!
[On-screen text] Consolidated Credit wishes you a happy shopping season! Here are some Cyber Monday tips from some of our favorite counselors
Maria Gaitan: My Cyber Monday shopping tip is to know your employer’s policy about shopping online on Cyber Monday. Don’t get yourself fired trying to land a good deal.
Kevin Feeley: My Cyber Monday safety tip is to only shop on secure websites that have a lock in the address bar and start with HTTPS
Meghan Alard: My Cyber Monday shopping tip is to always opt for free shipping if it’s available. You have enough time to get ground items before the holiday.
Barry Rothman: Here’s my Cyber Monday tip: Use PayPal or a prepaid credit card to shop online. That’ll help you limit your financial risk of ID theft.
Andres Lopez: My Cyber Monday shopping tip is to make sure you shop with your list even online.
Mona Acres: My Cyber Monday shopping tip is to write down the coupon codes or save them to your smartphone, in case they’re not displayed on the retailer’s website.
Taylor Sica: My Cyber Monday safety tip is that if you purchase something heavy and can’t get free shipping, see if the retailer offers free in-store pickup.
Charmaine Williams: My Cyber Monday safety tip is to never shop on websites that you reach through an email that you didn’t sign up to receive.
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And remember, if you overspend over the long weekend and run into trouble with credit card debt, we can help!