Black Friday shoppers line up near Water Tower Place in 2019. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times
It’s OK not to overdo it on the first official day of the holiday shopping season kicks off.
It’s that time of year when retailers seem to join forces to plant a message in shoppers’ minds: “Buy Stuff on Black Friday, or You Are a Fool.”
They transmit this message in loud TV commercials, targeted social media ads and promotional emails you don’t remember subscribing to.
But you are no fool. And you — not retailers — get to decide what to buy and when.
It’s easy to overspend during the holidays
Feeling compelled to spend money right now is normal. Who doesn’t want to be like the advertisements’ grinning models, with an armful of gifts?
“This time of year, there is a lot of pressure to consume happiness — to show your love through products,” says Christine Whelan, a clinical professor in the department of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Retailers want you to fold under that pressure. They make most of their money around this time, Whelan says, during their “end-of-year push to sell products.”
You may face other pressures, too.
“This year … we have almost a perfect storm when it comes to spending,” she says. “We have fears of scarcity, we have inflation, and we have this yearning to celebrate in a more normal way than we did last year.”
As that storm brews, toss in feelings of guilt. That’s a common emotion around the holidays and can lead to overspending, says Alex Melkumian, a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of the Financial Psychology Center in Los Angeles.
Say that, once again, you can’t gather with family, or you can’t afford those gifts your kid wants.
Or maybe you don’t feel …read more
Source:: Chicago Sun Times