About Us
Mission Statement
Rules of Conduct
 
Name:
Pswd:
Remember Me
Register
 

Red Friday
Author: BobR    Date: 11/28/2008 13:04:45

Today (the day after Thanksgiving) is traditionally known as "Black Friday". That seems like such a bleak term, but it means it's the day that retailers' balance sheets finally move from the red into the the black. Most stores count on a good turnout today; to ensure that turnout, they have big one-day sales. Consumers comply, and jam stores and malls (and mall parking lots). Some people do all their Christmas shopping in one marathon day.

With all that spending going on, one has to wonder how many people are paying cash? How many people actually saved up money for this? If past experience is any indicator, a large part of the country that's out shopping today will end up charging most of their purchases on credit cards, and paying on them for months to come. For the retailers, it's Black Friday - for consumers it's Red Friday.

The important point to remember is that saving money on a sale becomes moot if you charge the item and then pay it off over time. CCCS Notes:
"Consumers must remember that they may end up in worse shape if they over use their credit cards for holiday deals," Howard Dvorkin, author and founder of the non-profit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, warns. If you go out and charge a $1,000 this holiday season and are paying the minimum amount due with an 18% interest rate, it would take over 19 years to pay the credit card debt off and you would have repaid the creditor almost triple - $2,900. "If that doesn't dissuade people from overspending - I don't know what will. Consumers who start their holiday shopping without a strategy will likely end up adding to their debt load," says Dvorkin.

Believe me, I know about that. As I've mentioned before, I am "client" of CCCS, and working to become debt-free in a few years. I no longer have any credit cards (but the debt memory lingers), so there is no temptation on me to charge anything.

For those contemplating wading into the deep muck that is Black Friday shopping, here are some tips to prevent it becoming Red Friday for you:
  1. Save up

  2. Set a budget before you shop

  3. Make a list

  4. Don't shop for yourself

  5. Ignore "big" sales

  6. Shop online first

  7. Leave your credit cards at home

  8. Don’t buy if you can’t afford to pay
(more detail at the link)

Of course - if you haven't already been saving up, the first tip comes a bit late. One other thing not mentioned is layaway. Many stores are returning to this as an option, and it's great because it forces the buyer to pay for the item in a set amount of time, and it's interest-free.

Atlanta consumer advocate and financial advice expert Clark Howard has simple advice for people regarding their credit cards: freeze them in a block of ice. If you have to wait for the ice to melt before you can use them, you'll be less inclined to abuse them. This advice (like the previous Red Friday advice) can also work year round.

I know this seems like a strange topic for a political blog, but since the economy and debt is on everyone's mind, it seems apropos. We have little control over how banks and insurance companies handle debt, but we do have control over our own. Having been down the dark red hole, and slowly clawing myself out, I have first-hand experience as well.

Please - leave the credit cards at home. Don't make this a Red Friday for yourself.

57 comments (Latest Comment: 11/29/2008 04:08:55 by BobR)
   Perma Link

Share This!

Furl it!
Spurl
NewsVine
Reddit
Technorati

Add a Comment

Please login to add a comment...


Comments:

Order comments Newest to Oldest  Refresh Comments

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 13:14:41
Moo.





Comment by BobR on 11/28/2008 13:47:10
Quote by TriSec:

Moo.





little Missy the cat says "ditto" (probably for different reasons)

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 14:18:19
SO the guy filling in for Momma is just playing with momma's sound box. I feel dirty listening.

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 14:18:52
Richard GREEN is filling in for Momma?

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 14:19:31
BTW: Good morning everyone. :coffee2:

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 14:27:29
*grunt*





Comment by m-hadley on 11/28/2008 14:48:10
Mornin' Crew :coffee:

Here with the nieces and the nephew - having our Thanksgiving meal today. Hope everybodee had a great turkey day. We feasted on green chile stew and mac & cheese (and Beaujolais Nouveau ).

More later if I can wrest the laptop away from the kiddos :D

Cheers.

mfaye



:gobama:

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 14:54:44
Comment by Will in Chicago on 11/28/2008 14:59:33
Good morning, everyone!!! I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.



BobR, good point with the credit cards. To me, it seems that this is the Commerce Season not the Holiday Season. The Obamas passing out food bags far better captures the spirit of Thanksgiving than a trip to the mall. (I may pick up some shampoo at Walgreen's but I am staying away from the malls -- far, far away.)



My ninety-something great aunt Gussy was at Thanksgiving dinner. (One of her daughters flies her out here and other relatives to visit a third cousin who lives here in the Valley.) Gussy said she thinks Bush is ignoring the current economic crisis more than Hoover ignored the Great Depression during the transition to the Roosevelt administration.



The early edition of the Daily Headlines are up.

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 15:01:51
*crinkle*



Aaaigh! My brain just atrophied!



:thud:





Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 15:03:31
Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 15:05:00
Tri are you at work or are you attempting to listen to Mark Green? I find him... well VERY boring.

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 15:05:55
Quote by Will in Phoenix:

Good morning, everyone!!! I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.



BobR, good point with the credit cards. To me, it seems that this is the Commerce Season not the Holiday Season. The Obamas passing out food bags far better captures the spirit of Thanksgiving than a trip to the mall. (I may pick up some shampoo at Walgreen's but I am staying away from the malls -- far, far away.)



My ninety-something great aunt Gussy was at Thanksgiving dinner. (One of her daughters flies her out here and other relatives to visit a third cousin who lives here in the Valley.) Gussy said she thinks Bush is ignoring the current economic crisis more than Hoover ignored the Great Depression during the transition to the Roosevelt administration.



The early edition of the Daily Headlines are up.
Heya Will, you Aunt Gussy sounds great!



Sounds like you had a loverly T-Day!



Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 15:12:45
I'm working today....we can't be off 4 days straight due to the nature of the business. (I've got time off around Xmas and New Year, so...)



Anyway, we're a skeleton crew, I'm almost done with the transactions for the day and this afternoon is going to be a long mind-numbing stretch.



But I'm leaving early, it's the Christmas tree lighting on Waltham Common tonight, and I expect to lead all the Waltham Cub Scouts in the Pledge of Allegiance... (I did last year.)



We'll be on local TV, anyway.





Comment by Will in Chicago on 11/28/2008 15:19:25
Quote by Raine:

Quote by Will in Phoenix:

Good morning, everyone!!! I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.



BobR, good point with the credit cards. To me, it seems that this is the Commerce Season not the Holiday Season. The Obamas passing out food bags far better captures the spirit of Thanksgiving than a trip to the mall. (I may pick up some shampoo at Walgreen's but I am staying away from the malls -- far, far away.)



My ninety-something great aunt Gussy was at Thanksgiving dinner. (One of her daughters flies her out here and other relatives to visit a third cousin who lives here in the Valley.) Gussy said she thinks Bush is ignoring the current economic crisis more than Hoover ignored the Great Depression during the transition to the Roosevelt administration.



The early edition of the Daily Headlines are up.
Heya Will, you Aunt Gussy sounds great!



Sounds like you had a loverly T-Day!





It was fun and Aunt Gussy is sharp and fun. Then I came home and worked on the Daily Headlines.



Here are some articles on the tragedy in Mumbai.



Behind the Mumbai Massacre: India's Muslims in Crisis

By Aryn Baker Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008



The disembodied voice was chilling in its rage. A gunman, holed up in Mumbai's Oberoi Trident hotel where some 40 people had been taken hostage, told an Indian news channel that the attacks were revenge for the persecution of Muslims in India. "We love this as our country but when our mothers and sisters were being killed, where was everybody?" he asked via telephone. No answer came. But then he probably wasn't expecting one.



The roots of Muslim rage run deep in India, nourished by a long-held sense of injustice over what many Indian Muslims believe is institutionalized discrimination against the country's largest minority group. The disparities between Muslims, which make up 13.4% of the population, and India's Hindu population, which hovers around 80%, are striking. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking Muslim Indians have shorter life spans, worse health, lower literacy levels, and lower-paying jobs. Add to that toxic brew the lingering resentment over 2002's anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat. The riots, instigated by Hindu nationalists, killed some 2000 people, most of them Muslim. To this day, few of the perpetrators have been convicted. See pictures of the terrorist shootings in Mumbai.



The huge gap between Muslims and Hindus will continue to haunt India's, and neighboring Pakistan's, progress towards peace and prosperity. But before inter-communal relations can improve there is an even bigger problem that must first be worked out: the schism in subcontinental Islam, and the religion's place and role in modern India and Pakistan. It is a crisis 150 years in the making.







There is also a good op-ed piece in the Guardian on the tragedy in Mumbai.



The terrorists attacked my city because of its wealth

Suketu Mehta



The first time I went to the Taj in Bombay, it was on a date, but not my own. I was 12, and the third wheel between my uncle and his fiancee; I had to be taken along for propriety's sake.



We sat in the Sea Lounge, overlooking the harbour, amid the Parsi matrons arranging marriages and the British bankers drinking gin with American aid officials. My uncle had brought my future aunt here because he wanted to impress her with the hotel's opulence, and I had the most expensive bhelpuri of my life. The Taj is to Bombay what the Empire State Building is to New York: it is what you see on a postcard of the city, a building that does not need to be further identified. It is, simply, "Bombay".



People who are seeking position or money in Bombay often use this one hotel, this one citadel of empire, as a mark or measure of their progress upward through the strata of Bombay.



The Taj was born out of a slight: because a man was turned away from a fancy hotel. When the prominent Parsi industrialist Jamshetji Tata was refused entrance into Watson's hotel in the 19th century because he was a native, he swore revenge, and built the Taj in 1903. It is less a hotel than a proving-ground for the ego. The Taj lobby and its adjoining toilets are where you test your self-worth; theoretically, anyone can come in out of the heat and sit in the plush lobby, or relieve themselves in the gleaming toilets. But you need that inner confidence to project to the numerous gatekeepers, the toilet attendants; you need to first convince yourself that you belong there.







The fighting is still conitinuing and Haaretz, a leading Israeli liberal daily, is reporting the following:



VIDEO - Israeli diplomat: Five hostages killed at Chabad center in Mumbai







Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 15:30:53
Will I have been following the nightmare in Mumbai...



I heard also and am still waiting for a confirmation that An Israeli rescue service sent a staff member to help with the hostage crisis at the jewish centre has also died. Once again, waiting for more confirmation...



2 Americans have also been killed... from the reports that I am hearing it was a father daughter couple possibly from a Virgina Mediation center. No link yet.

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 15:31:38
The AP is now reporting the news about the Americans as well.



Word also has it that two people from France have been killed.

Comment by Random on 11/28/2008 15:35:48
Well...

Random has no comment.

He has nothing significant to say, nor has he ever.

He never meant to get drunk and hit on your sister/you.

He asks for your forgiveness for his actions last night.

That is all.

Comment by BobR on 11/28/2008 15:48:51
This is the NY Daily News, so I don't know how accurate this is but apparently a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by shopper stampede

Comment by wickedpam on 11/28/2008 15:56:16
Morning :hug:



:scratchhead: Who is this very dry, unfunny person taking about cell phone radio waves on?

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 16:46:07
so ronery...



: curls up on ruggie, sucks thumb :





Comment by wickedpam on 11/28/2008 16:47:01
Depak Chopra? Tony Robbins? WTF



I need help staying awake and not being depressed cause I have to work - not this boring self-helpy stuff.....

Comment by Will in Chicago on 11/28/2008 16:51:24
So, how is Fox News reacting to the attacks in Mumbai. Hmm, they could not possibly be trying to make political hay over the corpses of 150 dead human beings. Or could they?



Fox: Will Mumbai attacks delay Gitmo closing?



Yep, I guess everything is political at Fox. Dante would have to write about a new circle of Hell for these people.

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 17:01:27
Howdy all. When I came home last night and went around the bend, my next door neighbor's house couldn't be ignored. There are enough lights decorating the house to cause planes to wander off course.



Memo to neighbors: It isn't even Advent yet please no Xmas lights yet. Its not the the 29 days to Christmas, its the 12 Days of Christmas started December 25th and running to January 7th. Thank you, the atheist who knows more about the liturgical calendar than you do.

Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 17:02:46
Good morning all. Since I am off today I chose to sleep in. The one place I won't be is any of the shopping centers, that's just too nuts.



News 12 had some of the footage of the incident at the Wal-Mart which happens to be in the Green Acres Mall which I am near. I guess they will have a new incident to replace the Godfather III shooting for putting that mall in infamy. When I read the link, what really disgusted me were the racist comments blaming the incident on Obama when it's rampant consumerism and the damage caused by the Bush economy that's the problem.



And I've been paying down my own debt as well. Since I am making less money than I was pre layoff I found myself using the credit cards more myself and now I am also hit by the sticker shock so now I have curbed my spending but I still have to pay my debt. With the extra money I get between holiday overtime, unused sick/personal and holiday bonus, most of it is going to paying off debt.

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 17:10:33
Awwwwwwwwwwguuuuuuhhhhhhhh! I put on PBS for second and Barny was on. My IQ took a giant plumet there for a second. Its better now.

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 17:13:00
Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.

Comment by wickedpam on 11/28/2008 17:37:19
Quote by Mondobubba:

Howdy all. When I came home last night and went around the bend, my next door neighbor's house couldn't be ignored. There are enough lights decorating the house to cause planes to wander off course.



Memo to neighbors: It isn't even Advent yet please no Xmas lights yet. Its not the the 29 days to Christmas, its the 12 Days of Christmas started December 25th and running to January 7th. Thank you, the atheist who knows more about the liturgical calendar than you do.






I've had my outside lights up for a week now - they dont' go on until tonight though. I have my standards thank you.



Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 17:45:38
*snort*



I'll try to take a picture of the famed lights on the Lynn Fells Parkway (Saugus, MA). They weren't on last night, but should be lit this weekend.





Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 17:47:24
Actually, no need:



http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1219/csmimg/p19a.jpg




It's a block of four houses; all owned by members of the same family. They do it as a charity; they own a local business, and put out donation cans around the property. Not sure where they donate the proceeds to, though.





Comment by Random on 11/28/2008 17:49:34
Quote by Mondobubba:

Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.


Note to Mondo, The movie is over ten years old, get over it.

Comment by wickedpam on 11/28/2008 17:51:45
Quote by TriSec:

Actually, no need:



http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1219/csmimg/p19a.jpg




It's a block of four houses; all owned by members of the same family. They do it as a charity; they own a local business, and put out donation cans around the property. Not sure where they donate the proceeds to, though.







I love it!



Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 17:54:33
My hometown's biggest claim to fame besides the various Green Acres incidents is that it is also home to Steve Buscemi.

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 18:00:53
Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.


Note to Mondo, The movie is over ten years old, get over it.




I have errored I meant Live Free or Die Hard.

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 18:03:00
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Howdy all. When I came home last night and went around the bend, my next door neighbor's house couldn't be ignored. There are enough lights decorating the house to cause planes to wander off course.



Memo to neighbors: It isn't even Advent yet please no Xmas lights yet. Its not the the 29 days to Christmas, its the 12 Days of Christmas started December 25th and running to January 7th. Thank you, the atheist who knows more about the liturgical calendar than you do.






I've had my outside lights up for a week now - they dont' go on until tonight though. I have my standards thank you.







Putting them up and turning them on are two different things. I learned from the knee of Poppa Mondo, one doesn't put the lights up until the middle of December. Same with the Christmas tree.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 11/28/2008 18:08:05
Hello everyone.



Hope you all had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving.



Spent the day with my parents and my sister and two brothers and their families.



Dad's computer setup was a washout - when he ordered the PC he said no monitor, so no cables were provided to the video card which has dual DVI connectors so I need an adapter. In addition he ordered a floppy drive - he was told one could not be installed so they would send an external drive. Guess what he got? An internal drive. We'll see how long it takes Dell to get an adapter out to him.



Mail just came and with it was a little package from JustRadios. Yes, the parts for the Philco, so I'm very happy I have something to do this weekend. Who am I kidding, as soon as I drop the wife off at work I'm starting in.

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 18:08:23
Well, for us northern-tier types, I know quite a few people that take advantage of good late-season weather and put up their lights in early November or even late October...but they have the good sense not to turn them on until the Thanksgiving.



OTOH, I have a friend in retail (owns a store in Wakefield) and up until he started losing holiday business a few years ago, they didn't put up stuff around the store until Thanksgiving weekend. Now he's all festive starting around Veteran's Day.



We have the other side of the coin to worry about...because of "Three Kings" (January 6), we never put up our [live] tree too early, since it has to make it that far before coming down.





Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 18:08:30
Even WGN is showing footage from the stampede at the Green Acres Wal-Mart.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 11/28/2008 18:13:05
The weather forecast looks decent enough that I can get the outside lights up tomorrow and surprise the wife. I've said nothing about doing the lights and I was too sick last year to do them, by the time I was feeling better it was way too cold.

Comment by Random on 11/28/2008 18:16:29
Quote by Mondobubba:

Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.


Note to Mondo, The movie is over ten years old, get over it.




I have errored I meant Live Free or Die Hard.


Then second note to Mondo. It's a Fourth movie in a franchise. Logic and reality went out the window with the second movie. (See the now defunct lighting the plane fluid on fire. Thank you Mythbusters)

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/28/2008 18:27:35
Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.


Note to Mondo, The movie is over ten years old, get over it.




I have errored I meant Live Free or Die Hard.


Then second note to Mondo. It's a Fourth movie in a franchise. Logic and reality went out the window with the second movie. (See the now defunct lighting the plane fluid on fire. Thank you Mythbusters)






Logic? Reality? Die Hard Movies? Random, you kidder! :rofl:

Comment by Random on 11/28/2008 18:32:32
Quote by Mondobubba:

Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Quote by Random:

Quote by Mondobubba:

Note to the producers, director and writer of "Die Hard With a Vengence" Maine Ave and Constitution Ave do not touch.


Note to Mondo, The movie is over ten years old, get over it.




I have errored I meant Live Free or Die Hard.


Then second note to Mondo. It's a Fourth movie in a franchise. Logic and reality went out the window with the second movie. (See the now defunct lighting the plane fluid on fire. Thank you Mythbusters)






Logic? Reality? Die Hard Movies? Random, you kidder! :rofl:


Hey...the first movie had a semblance of logic and reality.

And anway, I'm refering to most series of films.

Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 19:48:51
Hello? Hello? Hello?



Wow! Wow! Wow!



:kickcan:











Comment by TriSec on 11/28/2008 20:38:40
Well, as long as I'm all alone in here today, no one could possibly object to my dialing up some porn on the big-screen TV?







Wow, proof you can find *anything* on the internets.....here's some Russian porn. You won't see a westerner try this!







Ah....and always a classy lady, no matter what the setting. This one makes me sad.





Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 21:01:57
Center Ice is carrying the Blackhawks game from WGN but WGN America doesn't televise the Blackhawks games.

Comment by BobR on 11/28/2008 21:40:17
Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 22:26:20
2 dead after shots fired in SoCal Toys R Us.



My god, this is getting ridiculous.

Comment by Raine on 11/28/2008 23:19:12
Saxby...err... "Big Daddy" you need to watch your hands...




Creepy. creepy... creepy.

Comment by livingonli on 11/28/2008 23:24:43
OMG! What is with these Republicans? There seems to be some dark moments in that family.

Comment by BobR on 11/28/2008 23:29:52
Quote by Raine:

Saxby...err... "Big Daddy" you need to watch your hands...




Creepy. creepy... creepy.


Chambliss seems to have a thing for tweenie breasts...