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Anyone Else Have Black Friday Anxiety?

"Black Friday" Marks Start Of Holiday Shopping Season
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

This should be a verifiable disease; “Black Friday Anxiety.” I’m pretty sure I have it. How about you?

Many of the Black Friday ads are out and shoppers are planning their attack. As we learned last week, Black Friday is now Black Thursday with several stores opening at 8 or 9pm on Thanksgiving night. Did you know that sale-shoppers and bargain-hunters will actually end up spending more money in the long run than those who skip the sales and pay full price? There’s a tidbit to add to the stress.

As shoppers, we’re faced with many decisions around Black Friday. Where do we go to get the best deal? Which store is most likely to have the item we want in stock? Can we find the same deals online or do we have to venture out and brave the crowds? Will other shoppers trample us over a Furby? We may need to be medicated for these things. Perhaps Black Friday anti-anxiety medication should be passed out to the herds of shoppers as they wait in line.

I heard some interesting stats from my pastor at church over the weekend. (The sermon had a larger point, but I extracted the shopping facts.)

– Early shoppers spend 14 percent more on average than those who wait til the last minute. I suppose we forget what we bought and we buy more. Or we think we’ve saved so much money we still have plenty to spend. Oops.

– Online shoppers spend 11 percent more on average than those who shop in stores. It’s way to easy to add to cart!

– Those who pay full price for items end up spending less overall than those who use coupons and sniff out sales. The idea that you’re saving money on some things gives the brain permission to keep spending.

Oh dear. What are we to do? Perhaps we skip Black Friday and wait until December 23rd to shop, then pay full price for items. Then perhaps we’ll spend less than the $700 average per household on Christmas gifts.

Or just spend the whole chunk on anti-anxiety meds to get through the season. Happy shopping!

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