Black Friday is an annual source of entertainment and amusement to me. Every year, it seems like a number of alleged adults at different locations around the U.S. end up acting like 3 year olds when fighting over discounted merchandise upon the day after Thanksgiving. Yelling, pushing each other out of the way, and pulling things out of each other’s hands are all things that happen somewhere on Black Friday. Everybody is so anxious to spend their money that they just can’t contain themselves!
Why are people so anxious to spend so much money? Well, I think that there are quite a few people that use Black Friday as an excuse to go out and overspend. You know, kind of like a built-in excuse to go overboard, as in “hey, it’s the biggest sale of the year, what was I supposed to do?”
Personally, I do get the idea that life is to enjoy, and there’s nothing wrong in buying some things that make us happy. But doing it as some sort of “retail therapy”, so to speak, may not be the smartest thing. We all have a certain level of income, certain fixed expenses, and eventual needs such as retirement, health care, maybe even kids’ college costs. Those things come first, right?
Well anyway, there are still a number of people out there who are actually smart with money who still like to shop on Black Friday. The thinking is that you can truly get deals on that day, so one might as well buy things that you’ll need to get. Things like actual needs for yourself and family, which might include gifts for the upcoming holidays. With that line of thinking, if you’re truly not spending more than you might not otherwise spend, I can certainly see how it could be worth it.
Now for me, being someone who doesn’t view shopping as a contact sport, I have a different approach. In my view, it’s the easiest and most effective way to save money on Black Friday.
What is that?
Don’t go out for any shopping, don’t surf the web to buy online. Simply put: don’t buy anything at all.
Boring? Perhaps. While many others enjoying their shiny new purchases, marveling over the goodies in their overflowing shopping bags, I’ll be settling for using the same old stuff that I had the day before. Nothing new to enjoy. Same old, same old. But remember, the difference is that I’ll have spent nothing, and can take pride in being resourceful and not wasting. If you don’t spend, and if you cut expenses – that’s one day closer to financial freedom. We all have our own version of excitement 🙂
Truth be told, I’m absolutely not all about the money and do spend quite a bit on the things that I value and like. Family and those closest to me mean the world to me, so all told I’m a spender with those people. I also like spending on life experiences, traveling to see things, etc.
However, in terms of running out and buying some big TV, household goods, clothes, etc – it’s just not a priority. Maybe it is for a lot of folks, and that’s fine. But I’m totally fine with doing absolutely no shopping that day, and having a family day doing other things. I did that last year, it worked out well.
I have a friend who told me a few years ago how his wife had “made” him go out to the stores in the middle of the night (like 3:00 AM) to stand in line for sales. As in, stand in line outside, in the cold. Hey, suit yourself, buddy. I’ll be sound asleep, bank balance maintained! 🙂
My Questions for You:
Do you see things differently, with regard to Black Friday? What’s your take on this particular day, and how it fits in the American experience these days?
What are your plans for Black Friday? Alternatively, if you’re reading this after the day has passed, what did you buy?