Dear Black Friday Shoppers,
It is usually quite simple to recognize danger, or dangerous situations, in our lives. We pinpoint danger when we see the person in the car next to us paying more attention to his phone than to the road, or when we see a small child toddling on top of tall furniture. Sometimes, however, danger can be very sneaky, and it can trick us by its seemingly harmless or even attractive appearance. Sometimes danger can disguise itself in yummy but dangerous-for-your-waistline desserts; and sometimes, danger can even disguise itself in small, rectangular, seemingly benign plastic cards…
Ever heard the mantra, “Everything in moderation”? Well, this saying certainly applies to credit cards. While not inherently evil themselves, credit cards are very easily and often abused by their owners. Credit cards are one of the main culprits of household debt, financial insecurity, and marital stress. Based on one 2016 study of credit card usage and debt, approximately 38.1% of American households carry credit card debt, the average American household debt is $5,700, and the average for balance-carrying households is $16,048. Although these staggering numbers should be enough to scare anyone from getting into credit card debt, the number of households falling into this debt continues to climb.
And now, lo and behold, Black Friday is upon us, the most wonderful day of the year for all credit card companies!! Nobody loves Black Friday more than your close friends named Visa and MasterCard. Why? Because in all of the Black Friday shopping madness, people forget that a credit card should be treated like real money, and they instead treat it like a “fairy godmother,” in a sense, as exemplified by the 2007 Disney film, Enchanted. Watch this clip and see the work of the Plastic Devil himself:
The lesson to be learned here: if people try to convince you that a credit card is better than a fairy godmother and will fix all of your problems, don’t believe them!! Be on guard, and recognize that the seemingly innocent piece of plastic in your wallet has the ability to destroy you! (Perhaps a tad dramatic, but you get the point).
Still not convinced? Still think that a credit card isn’t real money, but rather, a “magic card”? So did Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic. In this 2009 movie, one crazy shopaholic admits that she has 12 “magic cards,” and she justifies her shopping with the claim: “A man will never love you or treat you as well as a store.” The only way to feed her shopping addiction is to use credit cards, but as you can see at the end of the following clip, it is far too easy to quickly spend way more money than you originally intended. I think it’s safe to say that Rebecca treats every day like Black Friday. Watch for yourself:
And now we leave you with this little tidbit of wisdom from author Jim Kraus: “The handy thing about credit cards is that they're a great way to pay off your credit cards.” Make good choices this Black Friday, and leave the credit cards at home.