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America set a new shopping spree record this year between Black Friday to Cyber Monday in just about every measurable metric:

  • $38.1B spent between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. (+7.5% from last year)
  • $5.5B spent on Thanksgiving (+5.5%)
  • $9.8B on Black Friday (+7.5%)
  • $10.3B on Saturday and Sunday (+7.7%)
  • $12.4B on Cyber Monday

Why is it that amid rising inflation and tightening budgets, America is spending record amounts during the holiday gauntlet? Reports suggest it’s the 1-2 punch of big discounts and pay-later purchases. Fortune reported an all-time high of $10B in pay-later spending in November.

That number is particularly concerning because it doesn’t denote an increase in resources, just an increase in appetite. Brands are making it easier to purchase goods that would otherwise be unaffordable to many consumers. They’re paying the same amount, just spreading it out. It’s one thing to do it for a house or a car. It’s another thing to do this for Christmas presents.

So, in light of all this data, we want to offer a quick reminder:

Pay attention to how your family navigates Black Friday. It can be a reliable mirror that reveals a good deal about our relationship with money. We like to ask questions like:

  1. Are our kids more content or less content after Christmas?
  2. Did our kids have realistic expectations around budgets? (Did we communicate them?)
  3. Are we buying things and experiences that hold their value to us?
  4. Did we spend what we expected to spend? Or did things pile up?
  5. Were my spouse and I on the same page? Or did spending decisions cause stress?

The holiday gauntlet has a way of stress-testing our relationship with money as families. We want to see you enjoy the holiday season with peace, clarity, and yes, maybe grabbing a few discounts along the way!