Black Friday has always been one of the biggest shopping days. This year, consumer spending is expected to hit $158 billion. Shoppers eager to save some money on the essentials can find some of the best deals on almost anything on their list — from appliances and tech to clothing and groceries.
But in the search for the greatest sale, the temptation to spend can wreak havoc with your budget. Interestingly, your chances of piling on debt vary depending on where you live.
According to credit card debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, five states stand out as the most likely to overspend on Black Friday:
- New Mexico
These five states made it to the top of the list because they carry the highest percentage of credit card debt that is more than 90 days delinquent.
While this doesn’t guarantee you’ll overspend on Black Friday deals if you live in Florida, it does increase your risk of going too far. Luckily, you can safely take advantage of Black Friday without adding to your debt, wherever you live. Here’s how:
1. Use Credit Cards Wisely
If you plan on using a credit card to make online purchases, sit down with your budget to ensure you can afford every purchase by the next billing statement. This way, you won’t owe extra interest and charges on these purchases.
2. Leave a Line of Credit for Emergencies
In many ways, an online line of credit works a lot like a credit card. But whereas you may use a credit card on everyday purchases, you should only apply for an online line of credit when you need help with an unexpected emergency expense.
Let’s say your car breaks down on the way to the mall, and you need this vehicle to get to work. If you don’t have the savings to afford a tow and a mechanic, you can compare Florida loans online options for help. You shouldn’t be looking at a Florida line of credit to get the latest door crasher.
3. Use Cash
If the temptation to max out cards or use a line of credit is too much to ignore, using cash can help you avoid wracking up debt altogether.
Shopping with cash requires a bit of work. After all, you’ll have to sit down with your budget to make sure you have enough cash in your account for what’s on your list. But it’s worth the effort. Study after study show people spend more with credit cards, so switching to cash might be a good idea.
4. Make a List
Going into Black Friday without a plan increases your chances of adding unnecessary and expensive items to your cart. Shopping with a list can help you stick to those items that you need.
5. Shop with Cash Back Apps
Lastly, don’t go into any store before downloading rebate apps to your phone. These services pay you when you buy affiliated items, so you can earn cash back on almost every purchase.
Rebates are only worth it if you already have to buy the item, so don’t add an item to your list just to get the cashback.
You don’t have to live in the top 5 states listed above to take advantage of these tips. Anyone can follow them, wherever you call home.