It might be the biggest shopping day of the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to get caught up in a mad rush. You can bag a bargain, put off shopping for a few days, or just buy nothing at all. Here’s how to explain it all to your kids.

🤔 What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the USA (26 November in 2021), and it’s when many Americans begin their Christmas shopping. People have been calling the day Black Friday for a few decades, and now lots of shops and shoppers outside of America know about Black Friday, and many stores offer discounts on certain items on this day, in an attempt to draw in customers.

📖 Why is it called Black Friday?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was first called ‘Black’ back in the 1960s, because it was a very busy day for shopping, with lots of queues and congestion.

🗓️ Does Black Friday last for just one day?

Officially, Black Friday is only a day long, but plenty of places are stretching things out a bit, by offering deals over the days preceding Black Friday, as well as over the following weekend. 

Online retailers also offer discounts on the following Monday, which some people call Cyber Monday.

🛍️ What sort of things are cheap on Black Friday?

Shops usually offer discounts on big, grown-up items, such as TVs and computers. However, as it’s viewed as a Christmas shopping day, there are also price cuts on toys such as Lego.

🛒 Is it a good idea to go shopping on Black Friday?

In the USA, Black Friday is a holiday, but in the UK and much of the rest of the world, this particular Friday is a normal school or work day, so going shopping isn’t so easy. If you really want to go and you don’t have the day off, you can go after school, but it might be wiser to risk missing a deal or two, and go over the weekend, or shop for deals online. 

🥊 Do people fight over Black Friday deals?

In the past, very eager shoppers have been known to push and even punch each other to get the best deals. Others camp outside stores to get an early place in a queue. Some shops have found ways to avoid these fights, by giving queuing shoppers vouchers, guaranteeing them access to certain deals. 

😮 Do some people buy nothing on Black Friday?

Yes! Some people have avoided shopping completely on Black Friday, by taking part in an event they call Buy Nothing Day. This began in Canada during the 1990s, as a kind of protest against overconsumption. Outside of Canada and the US, some observe Buy Nothing Day on the Saturday after Black Friday.

🤪 Will I go crazy for Black Friday deals?

Not if you’re careful! You and your family can use the day as an opportunity to discuss whether you’re tempted to buy something as a need or a want.

Take some time to understand the difference! A ‘want’ is something you’d like, but can live without; a ‘need’ is something you really, really can’t live without. Check out our article on Taking About Needs and Wants.’   

Overall, Black Friday can be a lot of fun and can be a great way to save money but it’s also one of many opportunities to talk about money and start creating new habits. If you have any other suggestions, please do let us know at, we’d love to learn from you!