Choose wisely

Published 6:56 pm Thursday, November 22, 2018

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday — the next four days will see a number of business and causes competing for consumers’ dollars.

While everyone wants that new flat-screen TV, the new stereo and other gifts that can be found almost exclusively in big box stores or online, the question of how to spend one’s money during the holiday season can present a challenge.

In some cases, consumers tend to overspend during the holiday. According to a post-holiday debt survey conducted by LendingTree, in 2017, consumers who went into debt during the holiday season racked up an average of $1,054 in credit card debt.

So where does one spend their limited resources? Of the four days listed above, there is nothing inherently wrong with lining up and spending cash at door-buster sales. It’s perfectly acceptable to sit at home in your pajamas on Monday morning and do all your holiday shopping with the click of a mouse. In some cases, these are the best ways to get the best deals on those hot-ticket items that family members really want for the holidays. After all, a lot of those deals are really hard to beat. A quick look at the sale pages in our Wednesday-Thursday edition would tempt almost anyone to consider braving the early mornings and long lines to set up camp on Black Friday morning.

The only downside of this method of shopping is that dollars and resources spent in this fashion leave the local community, the state and sometimes the country. When it comes to spending one’s money in a way that matters, small businesses form the lifeblood of local economies. Consider including them in your shopping as you make up your holiday budget.

On the side of Giving Tuesday, there are dozens of worthy nonprofits, right here in Beaufort County, that make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. For those who are so inclined to give, donating to these organizations is a good way to make an impact with your dollar. A family member might appreciate a gift being made in their name to a cause they care about.

Whatever your holiday shopping habits, be wary of debt and choose how you spend your dollars wisely.