what you give up for those sweet black friday savings
Since I was raised by my frugal parents to avoid paying full price for things, Black Friday is a religious holiday of sorts for me, like my personal Christmas. Throughout the year I keep track of all the big-ticket purchases I want to make, like computers and speakers and headphones, so I can buy all of them during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s incredibly satisfying seeing how much money you save for your patience, but the older I get the more I realize just how much you give up in exchange for these discounts.
For starters the things that I want occupy real estate in my head, even if I note them down. If I want to catch them when they’re on sale, I either need to remember to check the store/website periodically for sales or subscribe to an email newsletter, both of which take up time and headspace. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing you missed a sale for an item you’d been eyeing for months because you forgot to check their website. And even if you consent to having your inbox flooded with marketing junk or remember to check the website regularly, waiting for sales on popular items can really test your patience.
Shopping during the biggest retail event of the year also means being bombarded with doorbusters and other tempting deals for things you don’t need. Like many others, I get swept up in the shopping craze, and feel left out if I go home empty-handed. It’s hard to stay focused on buying only what I planned on getting. Most years I inevitably end up picking up more than a few unnecessary items because I couldn’t resist the deals or the spending fever. This collateral damage is one of the big reasons why making shopping worthwhile during Black Friday takes so much self-control. Even a few wayward purchases waste the money you wait so patiently to save.
This year I’ve not really needed to get very many things save for an Apple Pencil. But in my search for deals on them I’ve sifted through countless ads and subsequently gotten the itch to buy things I don’t need, like board games, clothes, and cameras. I'm doing my best to avoid them by asking myself the questions I wrote about in my last post.
Be mindful this Black Friday! Remember, it’s 100% off if you don’t buy it.