According to ShopperTrak.com, a website that tracks the sales of more than 70,000 retail outlets across the country, American spent $10.69 billion this year on Black Friday. When you compare that with spending $10.66 billion last year, you end up with a 0.3% increase.
Now, that increase was a lot lower than what was expected, even with a down economy. ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin had predicted a 3.1% increase in consumer activity this year for the entire holiday season, so he’s off to a bit of a rocky start. The 0.3% increase that was generated had to do mostly with online purchases, as people stayed at home more this year and spent more of their money online.
When you analyze the shopping that was done pre-Thanksgiving, that too was up by a considerable margin. All in all it would appear that most Americans are able to shake off the poor economy and still find the time and the money to purchase gifts for their loved ones. However, if you find yourself without the money this year, know that you can still do a lot of good by donating your time to charities.
Onto the best money articles from this past week!
How Do You Know When a Sale Isn’t a Sale? @ Credit Karma: This is a tricky one because a lot of retailers will mark items up one day, only to mark them down the next and claim the item is on sale. A good amount of homework and the discipline to stay away from impulse buys should protect you here.
10 Ways to Invest $1,000 Without Putting a Dime in the Stock Market @ Frugal Dad: Too many people associate investing with just the stock market but that’s simply not the case. This article provides outside-the-box thinking on how your $1,000 could save you more when you apply ingenuity.
How Many Credit Cards Are Too Many? @ The Suns Financial Diary: Considering the rewards programs each card can provide, I think five is the optimum amount of credit cards, not only for purchasing power but also for your credit score. Any more than that, and you might find yourself not able to use your credit cards, which can hurt your credit score.
Don’t Pay Top Dollar on Video Games @ Money Ning: I remember the good ‘ole days when Nintendo and Sega games would cost a whopping $20, which I still couldn’t afford. Now, you can’t get anything for less than $50 so why not buy your games used instead of brand new?
Best 10 Cars Under $25,000 and the Cost of Owning Them @ PT Money: This extremely in-depth article takes a look at the best cars you can find for cheap, and the cost of owning these cars over their lifetime. Not all the cars are 2010 models, so you can find some pretty sweet deals in there.
How To Get Cash Back on Every Purchases @ US News: Most internet users don’t realize that there are websites providing cash back for all of your online purchases with no string attached. Finding these websites is as easy as reading this article.
12 Holiday Money Mistakes to Avoid @ Main Street: Even though it’s great and thoughtful to buy gifts this holiday season, make sure you don’t go overboard and do fooling things with your money. Now is just as good a time as ever to be frugal and save money.
And we participated in the following carnivals:
- Carnival of Wealth
- Carnival of Personal Finance
- Stock Carnival Ecstasy
- Real Estate Investing Carnival
Published or updated December 10, 2011.