$300 off. 80% off. 2-for-1.

From afar, all of the “deals” on Black Friday—how we refer to the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year and the unofficial start of the holiday season—sound great.

They certainly get plenty of people out of the house and to the stores. In 2016, 101.7 million people decided the crowds and the cold were worth the deals. Over the whole four-day Black Friday weekend, 137 million people shopped at the malls. Last year, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans would collectively spend more than $700 billion on holiday shopping throughout November and December.

And that’s saying nothing of the growing number of people who do their Black Friday shopping online.

As not only a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer but also as a father and a husband, I’m saddened by the sad display of materialism that this day has become. For many of us, Thanksgiving weekend is a rare chance to see our loved ones. I think we have to ask ourselves if we really want to spend this limited time butting heads and elbows with strangers while vying for the last available flat screen on sale. And that’s saying nothing of the debt trap these so-called deals really are.

There’s an ugly side to Black Friday: the parking lot arguments, the exhausted employees, who themselves are unable to spend time with friends and family, and, of course, the debt trap.

A Black Friday “deal” may take months to pay off.

A recent survey revealed that a quarter of shoppers go so far above budget on Black Friday that it takes them months just to pay off these deals. And that’s saying nothing of the folks who need even longer. If you’re already in debt, holiday spending can become impossible to crawl out of.

The issue is bigger than Black Friday. American consumers owe $13.86 trillion in debt. The average household carries about $8,398 in credit card debt. It’s due in large part because of our obsession, as a society, with shopping.

It’s all too easy to whip out your wallet when you see a great deal, even if you don’t have the money to do so. Many people think credit cards are a good alternative to money in those instances. With high interest rates, they often come to regret that decision. I’ve seen it happen over and over again throughout my career as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer.

Talk to a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer.

Debt of any kind indicates that your spending is above your means. I encourage you to give your credit card a break this holiday season and stop the problem before it gets worse. Bankruptcy was specifically designed to give you a fresh start.

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