In the past few weeks, you may have noticed previews of upcoming Black Friday deals. It seems that every year the holiday shopping season starts a little earlier, and, no, it isn’t only in your imagination. Companies are deliberately revealing these “steals” to build up anticipation, create urgency, and convince you you’re getting a great deal. But, guess what? Most of those Black Friday “deals” aren’t really deals at all.

These stores are actively encouraging you to take on debt. Often, they mark items up just before they go on sale. That way the new price seems like a bargain.

And that’s saying nothing of the poor employees who are forced to work on Thanksgiving and the morning after rather than celebrate with their loved ones.

So if you’re tempted to splurge this Friday, as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I would encourage you to rethink those plans. Here are three Black Friday statistics that explain why.

32 Million: How Many People Shop on Thanksgiving

Let’s put budgeting aside for a moment. As a father and a husband, part of my opposition to these Thanksgiving shopping trends goes beyond financial concerns. 34% of holiday shoppers in 2016 visited a retail store on Thanksgiving. In the past two years, closer to 20% have announced plans to shop on the holiday.

The staff at those stores don’t even get the day off to spend time with loved ones. Rampant consumerism is promoted at the expense of what truly matters. Such skewed priorities are often what drive so many people into debt, as they try to spend their way to happiness.

40%: How Many Americans Go Over Budget While Hunting For Deals

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), a majority of retail companies make 30–40% of their annual sales between Black Friday and Christmas. In recent years, holiday retail sales have soared above $680 billion. Some studies put the number of shoppers who overspend during the holidays at 40%.

Ironically, many of them are more likely to overspend when they’re looking for deals. It’s as if finding a deal is an incentive to compensate for saving.

$784 Billion: How Much Debt Americans Carry

Credit card debt has reached an all-time high. The average household carries $17,000 of credit card debt — roughly a third of the average household’s income. Retail shopping is one of the biggest factors in this cumulative debt, and during the holiday season, purchases rack up unlike any other time of year.

Talk to a Memphis Bankruptcy Lawyer

The holidays are never really about presents underneath Christmas Trees, and there is truly no reason to go into debt because of holiday shopping.

Having any kind of debt is a good sign that you’re spending well above your means, and putting a band-aid over the problem won’t help. You can stop the problem before it gets worse. In our country, bankruptcy is a way to have your debts forgiven. It offers a fresh financial start.

Call (901) 327-2100 or contact us online to talk to a Memphis bankruptcy attorney today.