What originated as a sale day following the American Thanksgiving has spread considerably since its inception. In Canada there was concern with the retailers as the across the border shopping increased dramatically with Canadians going south for the bargains. The result, Canada now has joined the US with their own version of Black Friday. I just saw a Facebook post from England and, you guessed it, they also celebrated Black Friday this past week.
And, guess what, we are only a month away from Santa’s arrival! According to a Gallup poll on the US, the average family spends $855 US on Christmas gifts. This holiday for many retailers is what’s makes their business profitable. Without it, they would not be in business. Look at television advertising immediately following Halloween. There is a focus on children’s toys and electronics. You will see an increase in jewelry ads.
The real big day however, comes a month later when the credit card bills arrive. Unfortunately, many people do not keep track of their spending so when the bill comes, they are forced to pay it off over time, which, in most cases wipes out any sale savings because of the high interest rates on credit cards.
In business we always talk about having a positive cash flow. Households are no different. You should always plan so that you have money set aside for your day-to-day expenses. This includes a contingency for unplanned expenses so that you are not compromising necessities. In Canada there are many families who are one pay cheque away from living open the street. Managing the cash flow in the household is essential for them.
Stress, in many cases, is the result when overspending takes place, whether it is Black Friday, Christmas, or any other occasion. Stress is a killer! This is the time of year for depression, heart attacks, and yes, even suicides. A rich person is one who lives within his or her means. Remind yourself that when you buy the $1000 item for $250 off the regular price, you haven’t saved $250, you’ve spent $750.
Do yourself a favour this season and pay attention to your ‘cash flow’. Your health will thank you!
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