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If you’ve been padding your savings account in anticipation of Black Friday, the wait is almost over. The big shopping event will be here very soon. And from there, you and consumers like you will no doubt be privy to an almost overwhelming number of limited-time deals.

Late October data from Finder reveals that a whopping 132 million Americans plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And consumers are expecting to spend an average of $708.

But while you may be excited to shop on Black Friday, the reality is that the biggest shopping day of the year can be a dangerous one. It’s easy to rush to scoop up deals because you don’t want to miss out on low prices. And in some cases, you don’t even have time to think about whether a given Black Friday buy is a good one or not, such as if you’re headed to a store early to snag a doorbuster item before it’s gone.

That’s why it’s important to take a strategic approach to Black Friday that doesn’t involve grabbing every single sale item off the shelves. If you fall for too many of those discounts, seriously negative consequences could ensue.

You could wind up loaded with debt

It’s hard to say no to Black Friday deals because if you do, you might worry that you’ll never see that low of a price again. But one thing you have to realize is that if you wind up with credit card debt as a result of too much Black Friday deal-hunting, your purchases are going to cost you more in the form of interest. Plus, then you’ll have that debt to contend with.

Credit card debt can be stressful. And it can hinder other financial goals. Even if you’re able to make your minimum payments on your credit cards, carrying too large a balance could hurt your credit score. So if you’re trying to do something like buy a home in the new year, believe it or not, a giant Black Friday tab could stop that from happening.

There may be better deals down the line

Many people are wired to believe that the absolute best deals of the year can be found on Black Friday. But if you’re patient, you may find that there are better bargains at different points during the year.

Let’s say you’re hoping to buy a TV on sale. You might see numerous ones marked down on Black Friday. But many experts will tell you that January and February are better months to buy a TV, as discounts tend to be even deeper at that point in time due to a certain major football event happening.

All told, Black Friday FOMO can really wreak havoc on your finances. So do your best to shop carefully that day.

Set a budget ahead of time so you know how much money you can afford to part with. And make a list of the items you really want, so you know how to prioritize your shopping. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of Black Friday deals — as long as you don’t end up overspending and landing in debt as a result.

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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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