Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. It has been noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping due to plenty of deals that are advertised. As Black Friday has evolved, stores have begun opening on Thanksgiving day and many of the sales stretch into the following week.
Although 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas, that doesn’t mean that Black Friday shopping is for everyone. While your friends and family are checking out the Black Friday deals, I encourage you to skip Black Friday shopping this year. Here are 3 reasons you should skip Black Friday shopping:
It isn’t in your budget
The first and most important reason that you should skip Black Friday shopping is that plain and simple it isn’t in your budget. In 2015, the average consumer spent $299 on Black Friday shopping. The figure was even higher in 2014 at a whopping $380.
Do you have an extra $300-$400 in your budget? If not, Black Friday shopping will cause you to dip into your emergency fund or put the additional spending on a credit card. If you do have an extra $300-$400 lying around, I am sure we can put that money to work by paying off high-interest debt and/or investing.
You aren’t getting true deals
Sure you have checked out the Black Friday previews for large retailers online and seen a TV for 60% off but did you read the fine print? Most of the best deals on Black Friday are doorbusters. Typically the doorbusters are available in very limited quantities. Therefore, you need to be prepared to wait in line for those for hours.
A study by NerdWallet found that 93% of retailers advertised items for the same exact price during Black Friday 2014 and Black Friday 2013. Thus, the deals often times aren’t that great. If it is an item that you really need, then you can watch the price throughout the year.
You will end up overspending
Honestly, I love getting a good deal. That is why I try to teach you all as many deals as I can. The main issue that I have with Black Friday is that so many retailers advertise their “good deals” that it can cause you to overspend. In addition, the best Black Friday deals are limited. Therefore, you may end up spending money on items that you didn’t originally shop for.
That is why it is so important to follow these suggestions if you are going to shop on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday):
- Start with a Plan. Grab a pen and paper and write down what you really need. Do some scouting online to figure out which stores have the best deals. Stick to your plan and only buy things that are on your list no matter what sort of deal is available. Literally, live and die on your list even if you see something that may appear as a good deal.
- Save your receipts. Make sure you check the return policy for all of the stores that you shop at. First of all, in the event the price for your item decreases, you want to be able to do a price adjustment so that you are paying the lowest price. Secondly, in case you change your mind or find a better deal, you want to be able to return the items with no problems. Many stores offer generous return policies for the holidays; however, it is always worth asking. And for those stores that don’t have return policies, skip them all together.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. I understand that many families turn Black Friday shopping into a family outing. You know, everyone wakes up at dawn in order to stand in line at popular retailers or to hit the outlet malls. Although that may be a traditional outing in your family, there are plenty of other outings that your family can enjoy that don’t involve overspending. A few outings that you can try as a family include a movie marathon, cooking contest with leftovers, or even volunteering at a local shelter.
Do you skip Black Friday shopping? If so, tell us why and how you stay strong in the comments! If you are an avid Black Friday shopper, tell us how you will do better this year!
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