Black Friday: Shop It or Skip It?

By Courtney Jespersen | NerdWallet |

A solid 70 percent of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday this year, according to a recent NerdWallet study conducted by The Harris Poll. But the nature of a day centered around shopping can almost inevitably lead to overspending.

Here are three ways to tell whether participating in Black Friday is really right for you.

Consider what you’re buying: The day after Thanksgiving is known for long lines, big crowds and low prices. And while it often delivers unbeatable deals on things like electronics, certain items are cheaper at other times of the year.

Clothing is generally a bargain on Black Friday, but some clothing reaches its lowest price off-season, said Charlie Graham, CEO of Shop It to Me, a sale alert app.

“If you’re really penny-pinching, you can find better deals when items go on clearance outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Graham says of some apparel.

Think buying swimsuits at the end of winter or sweaters in the middle of summer.

Consider why you’re buying: Of those who plan to shop in stores this Black Friday, 42 percent said they plan to do so because they enjoy the in-store hype such as early “doorbuster” deals, according to the NerdWallet study.

Enjoying this tradition is one thing, but going shopping “just because” isn’t always a good idea. Even if you’ve set a budget, you may be susceptible to making additional purchases once you’re among the merchandise.

Read more at NerdWallet.