Black Friday has earned itself a dark reputation these past few years and we could sit and watch the Black Friday Death Count increase as proof. More astonishing, in 2013, customers voted to push Black Friday into Thanksgiving Thursday by showing up to the stores in the millions on the holiday. And for what? To save a few bucks on a TV?
“If you are struggling to the degree that you need to trample people at your local retailer at 3am, a new TV is not where you should be spending your money.” – Jim Miller
Is It Even Worth It?
According to Business Week, among the 15 largest U.S. retailers, operating margins in the holiday quarter last year were 11 percent, compared with 9 percent in the preceding nine months.
This means that the alleged deals weren’t too awesome. Stores are luring desperate people in and then getting them to buy other stuff. They win, not you. And most of you know this. Even if you are buying “that one thing” it is very likely that it will sell at that same discounted price again and that it never sells at the full price anyway.
You should really consider buying used items if you’re wanting to save money. There are much better opportunities in the used market, whether a TV, a car or even a significant other.
A Simpler Life
What’s even better than Black Friday is creating an awesome financial future and spending time with the things that you love; enjoying the now to its fullest extent. No one ever died wishing they watched more TV.
I realize I’m focused on TV’s here, but that’s what a lot of these “sales” are on and what a lot of the brawls are over. DING DING! Staying on theme…
Do you need the latest TV if money is tight? Do you need a TV at all? Does your house need a $600 video game console if you have credit card debt and live paycheck to paycheck? Do kids need five gifts instead of two? Do you need to spend so much during the Holidays?
How ever you decide, now is the time to start following the Value Priority method of budgeting. This method is easy, will save you time and will allow you to enjoy a better life. Best of all, you won’t overspend, regardless of the time of year, and you will have the cash available for gifts.
So Sales Are Bad?
Definitely not. Occasionally there are awesome opportunities and there is true benefit in the transactional value of money. But you should not be looking to save on things you do not have space in your budget for in the first place. Take it from Mr. Mark Cuban:
take advantage of great shopping deals – the transactional value of cash is your best investment opportunity http://t.co/qclHuQEX0l
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 30, 2013
So What To Do
Take a step back to realize what’s important in your life, have a budget that follows the Value Priority Method and realize that most sale prices are not “one time offers.” Oh, and stay home on Thanksgiving! Enjoy some medium-paced, daytime, Black Friday browsing if that’s your thing or enjoy Cyber Monday from your own sofa.
Do you know someone who went out on Black Friday? (Or Thanksgiving Thursday?) If so, do your friend and me a favor by sharing this article with them. I’d love to see the feedback.
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Photo Credit: tshein