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Once a U.S. phenomenon, Black Friday has become a bigger deal for Canadian shoppers than Boxing Day.

Snap out of it, would you? Both Black Friday and Boxing Day are manufactured events designed to promote spending that would not otherwise happen. As noted in a column last week, financial stress levels in the country have soared, as have consumer insolvencies. It’s time to start connecting the dots.

Black Friday is Nov. 29, and it’s followed by an event designed to promote online shopping called Cyber Monday. A recent survey done by the Retail Council of Canada found that 43 per cent of shoppers plan to take advantage of deals on Black Friday, compared to 34 per cent on Boxing Day.

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Suggestion: Set yourself a Black Friday or Cyber Monday budget and don’t let yourself get sucked into over-spending on anything. Forbid yourself from buying anything that will leave you with an unpaid credit card balance.

Or, consider holding back some of your Black Friday spending money and using it for a charitable donation. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is running a campaign called “Saving is the New Savings.” The idea is to donate a portion of your savings from Black Friday deals.

There are certainly deals to be had on Black Friday, but not everything sold is a great value. Here are some Black Friday travel deals that caught the eye of budget travel specialist Barry Choi.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Words people use to describe retirement

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A U.S. academic study asked 990 adults for five words to describe “life after career.” The results were mostly positive and optimistic, but men and women had different takes.

Read this before replacing your windows

Thoughts on repairing your windows rather than replacing them because of condensation or other issues. Big savings.

Ten medical expenses you may have missed claiming on your taxes

It says here that medical expenses are among the most commonly overlooked tax provisions.

How will you pay for your next vehicle?

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A credit counselling agency’s blog runs through pros and cons of leasing, financing and buying with cash.

Ask Rob

Q: I have a million questions about the upcoming changes for Aeroplan. When will the transfer take place in 2020? Are the companies (Aeroplan/Air Canada) under any obligation to provide us with info so we can make a choice between the two programs? Will Air Canada have access to current Aeroplan members? Will credit cards associated with Aeroplan move with the customer if we switch, or will we have to get new cards?

A: I asked Patrick Sojka of Rewards Canada for an update on what will happen to Aeroplan once it’s taken over by Air Canada next year. Mr.Sojka’s repy: There has been some news trickling out. The new program should launch in July 2020 and there will be no choice of programs. Aeroplan and the new Air Canada program will be one and the same. Existing credit cards will continue on, but there’s a good chance that the offers, features and benefits of the cards will change. I would guess that we’ll start getting more details early in the new year.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Today’s financial tool

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A buy-vs-lease calculator for people in the market for a new vehicle.

Tweet of the week

Insight into the bizarre thinking of home buyers.

What I’ve been writing about

  • ‘Debtpocalypse’ now? Stress levels about money are soaring, and so are consumer insolvencies
  • ‘What can we do that will stop the bleeding of our investments?’ (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
  • Robo-advisers have grown out of the novelty stage. Here’s help in finding one right for you. (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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