The hype around Black Friday was always overwrought, but its beginning to fade, Ad Week reports, and it's the retailers themselves that are bringing it down. Earlier Thanksgiving day sales and 24/7 online discounters are eroding the day's impact, making it a less useful economic barometer. That's a blessing for the customers, some of whom risk injury and death in the opening-day stampede for savings. You can track the statistics on Black Friday injuries yourself at the website Black Friday Death Count.
Credit Over Debit
There are few things worse for your money than being a victim of identity theft or a corporate data breach. But with the holidays upon us, we're not going back to a cash-only society. In order to limit your exposure, use credit cards, not debit cards for your Black Friday shopping, according to The New York Times. Why? Debit cards are tied to banks; if your card is lost or PIN number compromised, you have to notify banks within two days to limit your liability, and banks are generally slower than credit agencies to investigate fraud, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.