Why I Almost Never Miss Black Friday

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shopping-mall-1416502_1920The holiday season is practically here. Pretty soon you’ll be getting ready for Thanksgiving and seeing all those holiday shopping ads especially for Black Friday.

Most people either love or hate Black Friday. I tend to see it as an opportunity to strategically purchase the things I want or need. This is why I usually venture out and shop on Black Friday even though last year I didn’t.

You may be wondering, why would someone who’s in debt be out shopping during one of the most commercialized and hectic shopping events of the entire year? Shouldn’t they be at home, counting their money, and saving it up for more important things? Does it really make sense to talk about frugality then go out and participate in such a dark day for frugal people everywhere?

The truth is, I feel I’m in a much better place financially than I was years ago. Even if I wasn’t, I doubt anyone could go an entire year without buying something so it’s safe to say I can afford to spend a little money during the holiday season.

Plus, I feel comfortable controlling my spending since I really dislike credit card debt. I use Black Friday to shop for the sales and for our needs and wants for the entire year. Here are a few reasons why I almost never miss out on Black Friday each year.

I Tend to Practice Semi-Extreme Delayed Gratification Year-Round

Since I’ve started implementing my strict debt repayment plan, I realize I had my family go into a state of semi-extreme delayed gratification. Using the word ‘extreme’ might be a little over exaggerated, but during the year we basically do whatever it takes to avoid buying extra wants and needs.

I stopped buying clothes last year for a while. I don’t buy my son too many toys outside of the holidays and the last toy he actually received he ‘bought’ with his own allowance money. If he loses his socks, I don’t buy more and we just pay closer attention to the ones he has.

If we break or lose something, we think long and hard about replacing it and just try to do without if it’s not a huge necessity.Going out shopping on a random Saturday never happens and large purchases are always budgeted for in advance.

This type of lifestyle allows us to be grateful for what we do have and utilize our resources while keeping our monthly expenses low, but it also allows our needs and small wants to slowly build up during the year.

On Black Friday, I consider releasing that build up while still saving money in the long run by getting gifts for others on sale and checking off some household items on our to-do list.

I Like to Keep Black Friday on Friday

One thing I don’t like, is how retailers are pushing the sales events into Thanksgiving evening. I prefer to enjoy Thanksgiving on the actual day without having to worry about running out in the cold to the store.

I respect the retailers who close their stores on the holiday to let consumers know that the sales can wait. Relaxing with family is most important, and there are still plenty of sales and door busters to catch the following day anyway. Plus, a lot of retailers have special deals going on during the entire weekend so you don’t even have to shop on Friday to catch a sale.

If I don’t see anything that interests me, I usually wait for Cyber Monday and shop some good deals from the comfort of my home in the morning or before I head in to work. Cyber Monday is another more relaxed option for people who don’t want to deal with Black Friday traffic and drama.

I Wake Early Anyway and I Can Deal with People for a Few Hours

Speaking of Black Friday drama, the crowds and long lines do not sit well with a lot of people, but what can you expect? I’m not much of a people person at all but I realize I’m not the only one on the Earth and sometimes I’m going to have to stand in a line whether it’s at a store, event, restaurant etc.

As long as I’m not standing outside (it’s freakishly cold around this time of year in the Midwest), I can deal with other people around me for a bit if it means I can save money on things I needed to purchase anyway.

I also can’t sleep in for the life of me so getting up early and getting some shopping out of the way is ideal since I wake up at or before 7a.m. no matter what day it is.

Black Friday is Not a ‘Dark Day’ for Frugal People

I feel that not everything that is on ‘sale’ on Black Friday is worth it. But overall, shopping on Black Friday has helped me save money on items for my household and holiday gifts for others. It allows me to stretch my holiday budget so I can get more bang for my buck.

I’m not directing anyone else to go out shopping on Black Friday if that isn’t in the cards for you. If you don’t like the crowds and would rather be at home sleeping in, watching movies and eating leftovers, do what makes you happy. But personally, it’s not going to cause me any financial strain or disrupt my debt payments.

If you feel like you want to lie low this year and focus on necessities, budgeting and getting your finances under control, Black Friday might not really interest so to each is own.

If you are going to venture out on Black Friday this year, get out early, bring someone with you, set a budget or spending limit and watch your purse, bags or your wallet. Pickpockets may be roaming around during this time and it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and organized so you don’t lose or drop anything important.

Do you ever shop on Black Friday? Why or why not?

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