Carnival of Personal Finance #337 – Black Friday 2011 Statistics – November 28th, 2011 Edition

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Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, a weekly listing of the top personal finance articles around the blogosphere in the following categories – taxes, money management, investing, career, debt, frugality, credit, economy, finance, real estate, saving, and budgeting.

It’s amazing to think that it’s been almost 27 weeks/editions of the Carnival since the last time we hosted (back on May 23rd of this year). Summer, Halloween, fall, the 1st ever Financial Blogger Conference, and Thanksgiving have all come and gone. Time sure does fly! However, it’s good to be back hosting again, and I’m looking forward to getting through December and spending some quality time with family for Christmas.

The theme for this week’s carnival is a wrap-up of some interesting summary statistics of consumer shopping behavior during Black Friday 2011 and over this weekend! 
I hope you enjoy the posts and finding out what and how much consumers have been purchasing over the Black Friday weekend and that you can stop by My Personal Finance Journey on my non-carnival days as well!

This week, we had 55 total submissions, only 9 of which were spam or duplicate submissions, so the quality was high this week! Flexo and Revanche are doing a good job keeping spammers at bay. However, I suppose that by simply not using to handle carnival submissions, you can avoid a lot of the spam that comes your way through that website.  

Listed below are this week’s top 3 editor’s picks. Congrats to the three winners!

1. Our #1 pick of this week is by PKamp3 from Don’t Quit Your Day Job, who presents Should the Less Attractive Receive Additional Benefits?, and says, “The subject of equality in the workplace (and the dating market) with regards to attractiveness is in the news due to a new book on the subject (mentioned in the article). Since any topic on attractiveness (being such a subjective quality) is bound to be controversial, I felt the need to explore the topic of benefits for the unattractive. I like this article as much for the subjects matter as the discussion it sparked in the comments!”

Jacob’s Comments – In this post, PKamp3 discusses the fascinating subject of the various economic and social benefits taller, slimer, attractive people have in life. Afterwards, he asks (given the evidence from a recent study) whether or not less attractive folks should receive benefits to counteract this trend.

In my experience, I have ABSOLUTELY seen that attractive people 1) fair better in relationships and 2) seem better able to obtain jobs. In fact, if I think back on the jobs I’ve held over the years since finishing my undergraduate studies, the vast majority of the people I worked with were 1) pretty healthy looking (in a broad sense) and 2) not-repulsive to look at (sorry to be blunt, but didn’t know of another gentler way to say this). Think about your workplace – is this the case also? 

2. The #2 pick of this week is by 
Darwin from Darwin’s Money, who presents Income Disparity is Actually Good. Here’s Why, and says, “With all the outrage from the Occupy movement, you’d think income disparity is a bad thing. Well, it’s not and here are the reasons why.

Jacob’s Comments – Darwin (a fellow chemical engineer – rock on!) always comes up with interesting twists on his articles. In this one, he examines the income disparity gap that is present in the United States (the whole motivation/complaint behind the Occupy Movement) and proposes that it is actually a BIG MOTIVATOR for a lot of people in the fact that it gives people something to shoot for. Irregardless of your political viewpoints on the income gap, I think you’ll find this article interesting!

3. Our #3 pick for this week’s Carnival is by Roshawn Watson from Watson Inc, who presents Broke People Afford Everything!, and says, “Your lifestyle is pretty impressive, except for the fact that you’re a financial fake. I just want to know one thing: how do broke people afford EVERYTHING?

Jacob’s Comments – In this article, Roshawn discusses something that I (unfortunately) see all too often. What myself (and Roshawn) see is that it really is impossible to determine how TRULY WEALTHY someone is these days, since even people who are broke can literally buy anything they need in order to “keep up with the Joneses” using a credit card and racking up more debt. Take a look at this article to learn more about this disturbing topic.


Total Amount Spent By Consumers on Black Friday

On Black Friday 2011 (November 25th), consumers spent an historical high amount of 11.4 billion Dollars! Wow! That sure is a sizable amount of money! 


And, listed below are the rest of this week’s great article submissions, separated by category for targeted reading.


Annabelle from Shopping Detox presents How frugal is the $500 Law & Order box set?, and says, “It may seem crazy expensive, but buying the complete series of Law & Order is kind of *saving* you money.”

Teacher Man from My University Money presents Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping Tips and Deals, and says, “I am definitely not a fan of waiting outside in the cold at 4 AM, pushing and shoving with other people in order to save twenty bucks on a laptop. However, any time I can sit on my butt, in my pajamas, with a warm cup of coffee, and save a lot of money, I am all for that!”

Fanny from Living Richly on a Budget presents 25 Gifts Under $25, and says, “Need gift ideas for under $25? Here are gift ideas for almost everyone on your list.”

Adam Williams from Rabbit Funds presents Dear Retailers: I want Thanksgiving back!, and says, “I’m outraged. And you should be too. Black Friday is officially taking over Thanksgiving. Is this nation so obsessed with profits that we will throw our heritage and family traditions out the window?”


Ryan Yates from Deliver Away Debt presents Cash is King, Isn’t It?, and says, “Paying cash for your monthly purchases gives you real-time feedback about how much money you’ve spent and how much money you have left. It’s just too easy to over spend when you swipe a card.”


Most Commonly Purchased Items

1. The most commonly purchased item was clothing

2. The second most commonly purchased item was some type of electronics product (23% of total Black Friday shoppers). The most popular electronics product was flat-screen TVs, which came ringing in ahead of computers (a drastic change from last year).
3. The third most popular product was toys (11.5% of Black Friday shoppers).



Martin from Passive Income Now presents How to Choose a Property to Rent in Your Community, and says, “The best way to find a rental property in the area you live in.”


Eric J. Nisall from DollarVersity presents Black Friday Proves People Are Just Lazy With Finances, and says, “People claim to have trouble budgeting & managing their finances, yet each year they plan meticulously for holiday shopping. What exactly is the difference?”

Jason from One Money Design presents Tips to Design on a Dime, and says, “When you don’t have the budget to create the beauty desired according to the “magazine standards.”


Martin from Studenomics presents The Solution to All of Your Financial Problems in Your 20s, and says, “All you need to know to solve your financial problems.”

Colin Williams from Humble Savers presents Christmas Is Coming! 20 Quick Money Saving Tips, and says, “20 quick money saving tips for the festive season that will stop you having a cold sweat when that credit card bill arrives in the new year.”

Lindy from Minting Nickels presents My Six Month Spending Fast, and says, “I don’t participate in spending fasts anymore, because I already did one, and it lasted six months. This article is about that experience. “

Mr. Money from Smart on Money presents Navigating Black Friday with Your Android Phone, and says, “For dedicated shoppers, the promise of a bargain on Black Friday is too tempting to pass up. Android users already know that a smartphone is a valuable shopping assistant, but you can get even more out of Black Friday with the help of some specialty apps.”


Most Popular Retail Stores for Black Friday 2011 Purchases

1. Wal-Mart – The fact that shoppers turned to Wal-Mart first/most for their purchasing shows (to me) that they were very interested in finding good products at the cheapest price possible.
2. Target
3. Amazon
4. Best Buy – featuring an amazing 58% conversion on getting shoppers who come in the store to purchase something. 


Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents The WOH/SAH decision: Finances, and says, “Nicole and Maggie discuss the working outside the home vs. staying at home parenting choice from the perspective of temporary financial independence. What factors should you consider, and how should you prepare?”

Paula from Afford Anything presents Give Me Money! Finding Freelance Work, and says, “Briana says: “I’ve been pursuing a ‘career’ as a freelance writer … but I’m still not making enough for a full time income. 11 months later and the stress of getting a ‘real job’ is even greater than before.” Here’s my epic, 2,000-word response to her question, with advice that applies to any industry, not just writing. The real question is not “Where can I find work?” The real question is: “What work is worthwhile? What work is a waste of time?””


Neal Frankle from Wealth Pilgrim presents How to Control Spending In 5 Minutes A Month, and says, “You may think it’s impossible but I’m here to tell you that you can control spending easily. The first step to doing that is to know what you spend. Make sense? Now, if you are sick and tired of hearing me suggest that you use software to track your spending like You Need A Budget, you have an alternative. You can get the big picture on spending in under 5 minutes a month. Oh…and that includes spending 3 minutes making yourself a nice cup of coffee.”

Money Thinker from Money Thinking presents Why Discounts help Businesses, and says, “Money Thinker explores why gimmicks like Black Friday work so well for the business and the consumer…”


Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Should you follow Buffett’s latest investments?, and says, “Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. Investors who closely followed Buffett’s moves in the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) stock portfolio between 1976 and 2006 would have significantly outperformed the market. So should investors follow his latest moves?”

Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog presents Uncommon Portfolio Diversification, and says, “Besides fixed income and equities or sectorial and geographic diversification, are there any other ways you can look at your portfolio to make sure it is well diversified?”

IS from Intelligent Speculator presents Yahoo As Alive As A Zombie, and says, “Have you thought about putting money into Yahoo?”

Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Are REITs Worth A Look For Yield Hungry Investors?, and says, “Even after the rally, most Canadian REIT’s are still paying juicy yields over 5%. For investors looking for stable monthly income from their portfolio, Canadian REIT’s are definitely worth a look.”


Miranada from Financial Highway presents 45 Ways to Save Money, and says, “Do you want to start your own business and make a little extra money? It can seem daunting at first, since there are so many others out there trying to get something started. Here are 4 creative business ideas that can help you get started. “

Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents Barriers That Prevent us From Saving Money, and says, “Why are you not saving up money?”

FMF from Free Money Finance presents Finding the Life Insurance That Is Best for You, and says, “What type of life insurance is right for you? This post will help you decide.”

Squirrelers from Squirrelers presents Inheritances and Blended Families: Who’s the Priority?, and says, “The topic of inheritances can be an emotional one. This tension can be heightened in the case of blended families, where there are might be different priorities and agendas. This post discusses this topic, within the context of a specific scenario.”

Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Why Donations to Charity are Important, and says, “Throughout history, money has been donated to the needy, as well as food, clothing, tools, bedding etc. These donations were often organized through the Church and it was considered the duty of the wealthier classes and merchants to give to the poor. These days, this generous attitude to giving to the needy is not so well defined. Why is it important that we donate to charity? Here are just 5 good reasons:”

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents The Mall Is Hazardous to Your Financial Health, and says, “Despite all of these temptations, I was able to get out of the mall after our walk without spending a cent. However, it was a lot tougher than I would have anticipated to keep my money in my wallet—I actually stopped and “browsed” several times even though I had only come to the mall to walk”

Peter from Bible Money Matters presents How to Protect Your Money When Ordering Goods or Services for Future Delivery, and says, “There are circumstances where using a credit card over cash or checks is really the most prudent approach.”

Jon the Saver from Free Money Wisdom presents Tips for Buying Furniture Online, and says, “There are some tips for buying furniture online that could potentially save you even more money.


Total Number of Shoppers and Average Spending

On Black Friday 2011 (November 25th), a total of 226 million headed out to online and brick-and-mortar stores to make purchases.

On average, each shopper spent $398.62. How much did you spend?

Source –



Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Occupy Movement Protests: A Revolution or a Waste of Time?, and says, “What are these Occupy Protests, what are they protesting, and what have they accomplished so far? People seem pretty divided over the Occupy movement, either supporting or hating it.”

Bret from Hope to Prosper presents What if Everything you Know about Money is Wrong, and says, “What if all of the financial advice is wrong? What if the conditions are changing and the old rules no longer apply?”


Chris from Experiglot presents Interest Deficit Disorder, and says, “A unique problem that I have.”

Mike from The Financial Blogger presents When is it Time to Call it Quits?, and says, “When do you move on to something new?”

Cathy Moran from Money Health Central presents For Every Thing, Even Shopping, There Is A Season, and says, “Blow off Black Friday: studies show the best shopping deals are next week.”

Venita Gresham from Dumb Little Man presents How to Appreciate the Pain of Financial Problems, and says, “In short, I am forever scarred by the bad financial experience, and that’s fine with me!”

Barbara Friedberg from BARBARA FRIEDBERG PERSONAL FINANCE presents 5 Simple Tips for a Wealthy Life, and says, “Money is important… to a point. Don’t forget the other components which contribute to a wealthy life.”

Chris Holdheide from Stumble Forward presents Auto Insurance Fraud: Don’t Do It!, and says, “Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of Auto insurance fraud and what you can do to prevent it.”

Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents 5 Tips to Help You Downsize Your Lifestyle, and says, “One of the most effective ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle is to downsize. If you are ready to downsize your lifestyle here are a few tips that can help you get on the right track:”

Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents Quiznos: Not Worth It Even At Half Price, and says, “Some places should be avoided no matter how great the deal.”

Shaun from Money Cactus presents How to Follow Through on Your Thoughts, Achieve Goals and Kick Ass, and says, “Being more accountable will improve your personal finances out of sight. here is how you can find ways to improve your accountability along with some handy tools to help. “

Dan Meyers from Your Life, Their Life presents The Importance of Charity – Why You Should Give, and says, “Did you know giving money away is important to building your wealth? Find out why!”

Well, that concludes this week’s edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! To all of this week’s participants – it was an honor to be able to read and get involved with such high quality articles! Please remember to link back to this post if your article was included here and to promote via social media when possible.

Currently, there is no one scheduled to host next week’s carnival, #338, which would occur on December 5th, 2011. As such, if you’re interested in hosting next week’s Carnival or another future edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance, you can apply using this form.  

When the upcoming schedule gets finalized, be sure to submit your articles for next week’s edition, using the following handy submission form.

    ***Photo courtesy of
    ***Black Friday 2011 stats courtesy of, except where otherwise noted


    1. Thanks so much for hosting the carnival this week. I love how you integrated the BF statistics. Thank you also for the editor's pick

      • Glad you liked the theme Watson! Congrats on the top pick in the Best of Money Carnival this week!
        My recent post Easy Like Sunday Morning Weekly Recap and Roundup – # 5 – December 17th, 2011

        • Thanks Jacob. Good luck with getting your experiments done before the holiday. While I don't miss the bench, I can certainly empathize with being in the lab on or around the holidays. Cheers!
          My recent post 4 Things To Stop Doing With Your Finances

          • Thanks Watson! I'm trying to get my experiments wrapped up this week before heading home to Arkansas on Friday. The end of the year is a tough time though, especially since we had to submit a couple grant letters of intent this week.

    2. Thanks for hosting, and for the editor's pick! Hopefully the discussion continues!

    3. Jacob, REally nice job with the carnival!!

    4. Shaun @ Money Cactus says:

      Wish we could take advantage of Black Friday sales, unfortunately Amazon won't ship to Australia. (at least they do ship books).

      Love the stats and a great list of articles too, thanks for including mine.
      My recent post Wealth Creation Online: Interview with Barbara Friedberg

      • Thanks Shaun! I have been learning recently about Amazon's lack of service to countries ex-US. It's stopped me from offering Amazon gift cards as prizes for the past few giveaways I've done in favor of cash prizes via Paypal.
        My recent post Easy Like Sunday Morning Weekly Recap and Roundup – # 5 – December 17th, 2011

    5. Thanks so much for hosting!

      I did not contribute to the Black Friday stats, mostly because I like to sleep in. 😉
      My recent post Gifts in a Jar

    6. Well, we personally did some record Black Friday shopping so I guess we helped push the day to a new record.

      Thanks for hosting this week!
      My recent post Our Switch To Netflix – Review

      • Nice work Glen! Did you buy any of the popular items like flat-screen tv's this year?
        My recent post Easy Like Sunday Morning Weekly Recap and Roundup – # 5 – December 17th, 2011

    7. Hey Jacob, thank you for hosting and including my post! My family waited until the lines died down a bit before getting out a catching a few last minute deals.
      My recent post Dear Retailers: I want Thanksgiving back!

      • I did something similar Adam! I went shopping on Saturday, and got to take advantage of the great deals, but with almost no lines!
        My recent post Easy Like Sunday Morning Weekly Recap and Roundup – # 5 – December 17th, 2011

    8. Thanks a bunch for hosting and for the inclusion. Also, thanks for the cool facts. Some were really surprising.

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