The NFEC urges Americans to resist Black Friday deals to build emergency savings faster.

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This holiday season, the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) hopes more Americans will skip Black Friday shopping altogether, participating instead in the organization’s “In the Black Friday,” a financial literacy promotion encouraging consumers to reduce holiday spending and focus on building savings instead.

NFEC’s “In the Black Friday” is a play on words for a promotion that aims to keep Americans from going “in the red” due to excessive holiday shopping debt. Americans’ manic holiday shopping spree traditionally kicks off with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. To counter holiday spending temptation, “In the Black Friday” encourages consumers to resist the big day’s advertising onslaught.

The NFEC’s new program could find a broadly receptive audience. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with a troubled economy and high unemployment in 2020 have left many Americans with depleted emergency savings or, in some cases, a new interest in saving more for emergencies in order to fare better the next time things get tough.

The NFEC’s “In the Black Friday” message is straightforward: If your finances are hurting in 2020, stop buying things you don’t need. Not only will you have more money to put towards building emergency savings, but your kids will also learn valuable lessons about money and managing personal finances.

“People get caught up in all the ads and hysteria around Black Friday and end up spending outside their budgets, says Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC. “If you’re parents, this sets a bad example for children, who are likely to adopt similar behaviors in adulthood.”

The NFEC’s “In the Black Friday” promotion goes hand-in-hand with the organization’s Give Savings promotion, which encourages people to give themselves or their loved ones money this holiday season rather than exchanging gifts.[1] The NFEC also encourages consumers to agree on a no-gift-exchange policy with friends and family this year to speed the process of building a respectable emergency savings balance.

So, how much should you save for emergencies? Ideally, it’s a good idea to have at least three to six months’ worth of emergency savings to pay for all your monthly expenses if you lose your income.

A Gallup poll released in October estimates that American consumers will spend around $805 on holiday gifts this year.[2] Just think how much you could boost your emergency fund if you deposited that amount in an emergency savings account instead of blowing most of it on Black Friday deals.

For more information on “In the Black Friday,” download the NFEC’s free guides on how to budget and save money this holiday season.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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