I have a confession to make… I used to love Black Friday. I was the person who studied the different ads, made a list, checked it twice, went out first thing on Friday and even a few times on Thanksgiving. Way back in the day I did do Black Friday to make money (buy and resell) , but I also bought a lot of things for myself. Since that time a few things have changed. The first is me. I just don’t get the same thrill of going out like I did before. There are bigger goals and other things I am saving for that don’t qualify as Black Friday deals. Another reason is Black Friday is not what it used to be. Let’s look at what has changed with Black Friday and sales in general.
Black Friday is Not Black Friday Anymore. It used to be that on the actual Friday was when you could get the best deals. Now though the whole month is Black Friday deals! We have Black Friday in July. We have Amazon Prime day which is like Black Friday. There are so many “sales” that they aren’t really even sales or deals anymore. There is Black Friday previews and sneak peeks. It is nearly impossible to keep track anymore unless you spend a lot of time, energy, and attention on it. How does this affect us? Let’s look at it through the Cents of Time perspective of time and money.
If there was one day where you new you could get the best deals, wouldn’t that make sense to save your money and plan for that day? Well that is what Black Friday used to be and how we used to treat it. If you didn’t mind going out, you were pretty certain you were getting the lowest prices. Now Black Friday goes into Thanksgiving (emphasis on the thanks and givingand irony of it), pre-black Friday deals, sneak peaks, weekend deals, and then Cyber Monday is right around the corner. How much time can or are you spending to find all of these deals? What could you be doing with your time otherwise? If you are always in deal finding mode it means two things.
One- You may not be enjoying what you already have because you are constantly looking for the new perfect thing that will make your life easier and solve your problems. Instead of looking for new things to buy, go through the things you have and either get rid of the things that you don’t enjoy and find things you do. You can not not like everything you own!
Two- Are you questioning if you need what you are looking for? What happens with a lot of people is they spend their money on things they really don’t need and then do not have (or complain) about not being able to afford the things they do need. Amazon isn’t going to tell you to not spend money and save for a car or pay off debt. Neither will Wal-Mart, Target, or any other business. You have to control your own money.
We are not saying to never look for the best deals and that if you shop on Black Friday you are a terrible person. What we are trying to say is just because a store tells you it’s a good deal and it’s a “special” shopping day, you should think before you spend. We are also saying don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. Don’t spend an hour of time looking for the best deals when overall you might not even save that much. You should calculate how much your time is worth so you know if an hour of your time is valued at $30 and you spend an hour looking for deals, your ROI better be at $30 or higher. If you enjoy shopping for deals and break even than continue on if you so choose. If you don’t like doing it and break even, then maybe it is time to think differently on your shopping habits. At the end of the day THINK before you buy and remember that YOU make the decisions about what to do with your time and money.