When people talk about a business’ profits, they say the company is either “in the red” or “in the black.”

“In the red” means they owe money and are spending more than they’re making. Stay “in the red” long enough and the company goes the way of the turkey’s hopes to be our national bird.

“In the black,” on the other hand, means they don’t owe any money and are profitable. It’s the good one.

The saying “in the black” is actually one of the theories for where the name “Black Friday” started. It’s stores’ most profitable time of the year where sales can go from “in the red” to “in the black.” This isn’t 100% right — “Black Friday” was said to be first coined by Philadelphia Cops, but now it’s simply known as the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday by the Numbers

According to the National Retail Federation (as a heads up, the next few paragraphs are filled with statistics), in 2014 more than 133 million people shopped during the Black Friday weekend. To compare that to another November staple, only 129 million people voted for president in 2012.

Those Black Friday shoppers went on to spend an average of $380.95 each, which comes to a total of about $51 billion spent.

That’s a lot of money. Especially with the average American household currently owing $7,529 on their credit cards, meaning we’re all living “in the red.” And now the holidays are here — read: biggest shopping time of the year — to stretch both your wallet and your waistline.

Those numbers and the threat to our wallet are why we started Stay In The Black Friday.

What is Stay In The Black Friday?

Stay In The Black Friday, or #stayintheblackfriday if you speak Twitter, is our counter to Black Friday. Stores and all their deals keep trying to push you deeper “into the red.” But we think it’s better if you’re pushing yourself “into the black.”

So we at Payoff are partnering with you and anyone else tired of seeing their credit card balances “in the red” to empower one another to do anything else besides shop this Black Friday (November 27, 2015).

How Will You Spend Stay In The Black Friday?

Here are some of our favorite Stay in The Black Friday ideas from around the Payoffice to help get your creative juices flowing.

Go on a hike with my boyfriend — Find all my unnecessary memberships and cancel those bad boys — Read my book — Practice juggling — Host a post-Thanksgiving leftovers potluck — Have a snowball fight (if there’s snow) — Build a pillow fort with my kids — Sleep late — Finally start watching The Wire — Play Canasta with my grandmother — Watch sports — Volunteer with my church — Get crafty and finish building this side table for my wife — Write limericks about saving money — Do literally nothing — Clean out my pantry — Audit my bank accounts and see where all my money’s going — Run the trails with my dog — Eat my weight in leftovers — Go for a bike ride with my mom — Stare out a window and think about life — Finally make a dentist appointment

What ideas do you have to stay in the black this Black Friday?

Join the #Stayintheblackfriday Movement

Take a picture. Write a post. Make a video. Whatever you do this Stay In The Black Friday, tag it #stayintheblackfriday to empower others to stay in the black by showing them how you’re saving money, avoiding the shopping stress and having fun instead.

And don’t worry about missing some random great deal — Amazon has already shown that there will always be great deals.

Join the movement on Twitter and Facebook!


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