Going Shopping Today is Stupid

Many of my contemporaries tout Black Friday as a day to take full advantage of frugal ways to shop on a very low budget. They argue that if you stay focused and plan out your Black Friday shopping, you can get great deals on many tempting products. I am in another camp, however, if you are waiting until Black Friday to buy something, you probably don’t need it at all.

We Buy What We Need

When you need something, you have to buy it and most likely can’t live without it. It is not something that you are going to wait to buy until late November.

Think about it. What stuff do the stores convince us to buy on Black Friday? DVDs? Electronics? TVs? Video Games? Anything we need? No, not at all.

Even worse, they use most of the door-buster specials, which are extremely limited, to get us in the stores. Once we are there, they have designed everything to get us to buy more. And, you know what? It works on most people.

Black Friday Creates Fake Needs

When you read through the Black Friday ads and go to the store the day after Thanksgiving, you are going to buy things that you think you need. But do you really need them?

One year, before I started this blog and working hard at managing my financial life, I visited Best Buy at 4:00am on Black Friday. I went because I “needed” a DVD player. I really just wanted to replace my old one.

Of course, I didn’t just buy a DVD player. I went home with movies, other electronics, and the DVD player. Of course, I was able to buy those things I “needed” for less than it may have cost a week before or after, but I didn’t really need any of it at all.

Spend the Day Doing Something Enjoyable

Imagine how great your Thanksgiving weekend could be if you skip the shopping center. You skip the lines. You skip waiting in the cold. You skip spending a ton of money. You skip the hassles and the expenses of Black Friday.

Instead, spend the day with family and friends. Spend the day watching football and drinking beer with the guys. Enjoy leftover Turkey and pie. Or maybe eat healthy food if you are on a post-Thanksgiving food binge.

You could sleep in and spend the day in pajamas. Or get outside and enjoy the day off of work.

Whatever you do, don’t waste money.

The Exception

Okay, after all that drama, there is an exception. If you have a long time planned purchase, getting it on Black Friday could make sense. If your TV has been on the way out, this might be a good day to replace it. DVD player die? You might find a good deal.

If you go to make a planned Black Friday purchase, just be careful. It is easy to buy a lot more than planned when everything is on sale.

Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com / flickr

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Comments

  1. says

    I just don’t get the insanity, we have Boxing Day sales in Canada which is essentially the same except it’s after Christmas so people’s budgets are already stretched to the max. A friend of mine use to work for a large retailer in the US and she told me they use to jack the prices up before applying the discounts so you’re not necessarily saving as much as you’d think…