With Black Friday rapidly approaching, retailers in New Jersey and nationwide have their sights focused squarely on getting consumers to come out and spend money. They dangle “doorbuster” deals to entice hesitant shoppers to come out to their store on what is arguably the busiest shopping day of the year. The discounts and deals offered start just hours after people have wrapped up Thanksgiving dinner and officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.
This retail tradition has been in place for stores to make a profit, however, shoppers should be careful not to overindulge in the shopping hype. With the average shopper expected to spend nearly $750 on shopping this month, those who also have to be concerned with medical bills and student loans may want to steer clear of the stores on Black Friday to avoid the potential issues associated with credit card debt during the holiday season.
Retailers and credit card companies have been setting various types of debt traps for consumers for weeks now and people may not always be aware of these sneaky moves. People have been receiving “leaked” discounts on special items in their email and stores have made it easier than ever to make impulse purchases simply by using a cellphone. Credit card companies are encouraging folks to spend more money with their card in order to earn “bonus” offers. Some even sent out blank checks to people to use for shopping. The company will then rake in 20 percent of these cash advances if a person does not pay off the balance in time.
However, shoppers can avoid these traps and the possibility of worsening credit card debt levels by being aware of these various schemes. For many consumers, avoiding credit card use and deals that sound too good to be true is enough to keep spending levels in check. In most cases, no gift will be worth the added stress during the months or longer it may take to pay off the balance from the purchase.
Source: Associated Press, “5 tips to steer clear of debt in holiday spending,” Dave Carpenter, Nov. 14, 2012
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