With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming (very) soon, I thought I’d offer some solace. I mean that in the sense that it’s OK to think these are crazy days, not participate in them, and continue to live life as you always have without even thinking twice about them.
That’s how I handle them at least.
We all know it’s one huge marketing gimmick to get us to buy more shit we don’t need. Plus, did you know a lot of companies aren’t even providing you with the same quality or latest products during these “sales”?
The Dangers of Marketing
If you are planning on trying to take advantage of something that’s actually on sale, do a lot of research. Don’t fall into marketing schemes just because you need to buy someone a Christmas gift or something you’ve been eyeing to splurge on for a while is finally on sale.
I too was tempted by this. One hobby I like to enjoy is leatherworking from time to time. After receiving a flyer in the mail (yep, in 2018) from Tandy leather with some sweet deals I realized I could get something I normally got for $150 for $25?!
Then something went off in my head. The “Too Good To Be True” meter was off the charts. Either this product was terrible quality or when I got to the store it would actually be a higher price (because they sold out of the cheaper ones earlier or whatever).
Also – $25 doesn’t sound like much, so how is that a loss regardless? It’s a loss for two reasons. One, every dollar counts. Two, your mindset is weakened by thinking this is OK.
After tossing the flyer in the recycle bin, I started thinking… I was about to drive all the way to Tandy to buy some leather when I don’t really even need any. And to me that’s my biggest problem with Black Friday and Cyber Monday – being pushed to buy something when I don’t need it, or when I wasn’t going to already purchase it.
That’s what I call Mindless Consumerism. And it’s making you poor!
Sure, if you were already planning on purchasing a brand new TV, go for it. Actually, scratch that! Save your money and find something better to do with your time!
Anyways, I’m sure you get my point as always: Just stop spending without intention and without justifications.
If You Do Spend Some Money…
If you do spend some money try to keep it local. Buy from a small business in your area. Always aim for quality over quantity.
Black Friday Alternatives
It wasn’t hard to come up with a quick list of alternatives. Because it’s just another day. Assuming you want to stay far away from retail stores and maybe even your computer for the weekend, here’s what I plan to do.
- Spend more time with extended family
- Spend more time with my significant other
- Start a new book
- Spend time in nature (walking in the woods, specifically for me)
- Journal (reflect on what you’re truly thankful for)
- Exercise (I plan on eating too much sweets Thursday)
- Finish a DIY project
I’m always excited for some extra time off of work to work on a DIY project, go hiking, lift some weights, and read a little more than normal. I try to make these holidays mirror what I think my FI-life will look like here in a few years.
It’s easy to get caught up with all the Mindless Consumerism and in-law-hate around this time of year. Take some time to yourself to reflect on what you’re thankful for. Chances are you have a lot to be thankful for, as do I!
I’m thankful for all the luxuries I have in my life down to the basic necessities I have that keep me alive on the daily. Another thing that I am truly thankful for are our readers and subscribers here at JSS. It means a lot to me that you choose to read the content we produce.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!