Personal finance tips and advice on money and investing to increase your financial intelligence and welfare

How will you spend Black Friday 2011?

Black Friday 2011 falls on November 25, and businesses and consumers alike are asking the question, How will you spend your Black Friday this year. There are quite a few options. Which one will you choose?

Shopping In Stores

The Friday after Thanksgiving has become a cultural shopping holiday that signifies the first day of the winter holiday shopping season. Every year sets new records for the amount of shoppers shopping, the total profits of businesses offering Black Friday deals, the total amount of money spent in that 24-hour period, etc. In 2009, the average consumer spent upwards $300, totalling over $40 billion spent on consumer goods. More than half of the American population went out and shopped on Black Friday, and all those figures are likely to see continuous growth over the next few years.

Large sale events are the biggest draw for Black Friday shoppers. These sales usually last only one day and typically ends when the large but finite inventory runs out. Some stores open early and give preference to any shoppers who get there first, but the trouble that comes with a large, tired and disorganized crowd has forced some retailers to rethink their Black Friday strategy. Many now offer sale events that start later in the morning or the afternoon so that consumers do not have to get up so early and staff does not have to deal with an unruly mob first thing after Thanksgiving.

Shopping Online

While Cyber Monday may be gaining traction as the best day to get deals from online retailers, Black Friday still pulls in its fair share of online revenue. Here is the deal: you enjoy shopping from the comfort of your own home at your leisure sans crowds and hassles, but you have to wait for your final purchase to arrive at your doorstep.

If relaxation trumps instant shopping gratification, make your purchases online! Different retailers offer different promotions throughout the day, so you could very well fill up your entire day with scoping out limited edition items on massive discount.

Enjoying the Holiday at Home

While millions of Americans venture out into the shop-lined streets and shopping malls, many choose to enjoy the day after Thanksgiving by sleeping in, munching on leftovers, watching various parades and football games, and generally taking it easy for the rest of the holiday. Black Friday gets a lot of hype because of its large consumer impact and advertising campaigns, but there are still millions of people who stay home or wait to shop until later in the holiday weekend when the initial waves of shoppers have subsided.

Guest post by Analise Marcus, savvy shopper and functional frugalista. Analise is always looking for the best Black Friday Deals but not at the expense of enjoying a long holiday weekend.