Can You Afford to Spend $400 on Black Friday?

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That's the amount consumers will spend on average.


Key points

  • A recent survey reveals that consumers will spend an average of $400 this Black Friday.
  • It's important to crunch some numbers before the big shopping event, so you don't go overboard.

Black Friday will be here before we know it, and at that point, the deals are apt to start rolling in. This year, consumers expect to spend an average of about $400 on Black Friday, according to a recent Self Financial survey. But can you afford to go that route?

How to make your Black Friday budget

It's tempting to do a lot of shopping at a time when items may be heavily discounted. But it's also important not to overspend on that day.

If you rack up a huge tab on your credit cards during Black Friday, you may not manage to pay off that balance by the time it comes due. That means you'll risk landing in credit card debt, which could not only cost you money in interest but also cause damage to your credit score.

That's why it's important to set a Black Friday budget. To do so, all you really need to do is figure out how much money you have access to and how much you want to spend that day, as opposed to during the rest of the holiday shopping season.

For the first step, take a look at your various cash sources for Black Friday spending purposes. Those may include:

  • Money you have in a savings account that's been earmarked for holiday spending
  • The performance bonus from your job you'll receive in December (if you rack up credit card charges in late November but that money will arrive before your credit card bills come due, there's no reason not to count it)
  • Money from your upcoming paychecks that won't be spent on existing bills
  • Money from your side hustle, if you have one (hint: if you don't, you may want to pick one up for the holidays)

From there, you'll need to figure out how much of your spending money you want to part with in a single day. For example, say you determine you can afford to spend $800 on the holidays because you have $200 you can take from savings, you're getting a $200 cash bonus, and you expect to have access to another $400 between your regular paycheck and side gig.

You may feel comfortable spending half that amount on Black Friday. Or, you may decide to only spend one-third of your money that day in case better deals and other holiday expenses arise later on in November or in December.

Don't overspend on Black Friday

In the aforementioned survey, 42% of respondents have regretted a Black Friday purchase. To avoid a similar fate, make sure to set a spending budget ahead of time and stick to it carefully.

Also, remember that while there are good deals to be had on Black Friday, it's also possible to snag discounts in the weeks before and after that mega shopping day. In fact, you probably shouldn't plan on spending all of your holiday money in a single day because in doing so, you might lose out on other opportunities to score major savings on the gifts and purchases on your list.

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