TORONTO, ON – For the most dedicated of bargain hunters, Black Friday is the biggest and most exciting shopping day of the year. Whether you are trekking across the border for massive bargains or staying on home soil to save a buck, creating a budget and a savings plan is the key to staying out of debt during the holidays.
Traditionally, Black Friday has been the unofficial start to the American holiday shopping season. With an increasing number of Canadians travelling to the U.S. to score some major deals, retailers north of the border are starting to get on the bargain bandwagon by offering Black Friday deals closer to home.
“Black Friday offers a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping or to find a deal on an item you have been pricing out for months,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director at Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “By starting a Black Friday savings plan today, Canadians can take advantage of outstanding sale prices without running up their credit cards.”
According to a 2011 Moneris Solutions survey, Canadian spending on Black Friday rose 8.4 per cent over the previous year. While in 2010, Synovate Global Research (now Ipsos) found that participating Canadian shoppers spent between $500 and $1,000 on Black Friday purchases.
As individual debt levels reach an all-time high and an increasing number of Canadians take part in Black Friday shopping, creating a savings strategy is essential to avoiding a financial crisis this year.
“It is easy to overlook how small, daily purchases can add up. With only fifty days to save, simple changes, like brown bagging your lunch or skipping the coffee shop, can create huge savings for your Black Friday budget,” added Schwartz.
To help you stay out of debt on Black Friday, Consolidated Credit offers these simple ways to save for the shopping frenzy:
- Create a Budget: Make a list of the purchases you want to make on Black Friday and assign a dollar value to each item. Total how much you need to spend, and ask yourself if you have the money to make these purchases.
- Skip the Coffee: Starting today, cut out your daily, five dollar latte. By eliminating this one personal indulgence you can save $250 by Black Friday.
- Brown Bag Your Lunch: Eating out costs an average of seven dollars a day. By bringing your lunch to work every day you could easily save another $300 to $350 for your holiday shopping.
- Sell Some Stuff: Take inventory of your stuff and put everything you don’t use into a pile. Odds are you’ve got something of value lying around your house. Throw a garage sale or sell it online to make extra cash for Black Friday.
- Plan Ahead: Plan where and when you will shop to help avoid last minute impulse purchases. A deal is only a deal if you were planning on making the purchase in the first place.
Black Friday is an exciting way to kick-off the holiday shopping season. By budgeting and planning ahead, Canadians can take advantage of great sales without racking-up additional credit card bills. The most important strategy in surviving Black Friday and the winter holidays is to only spend what you can afford. By budgeting and spending within your means, you can start 2013 debt free.