Yeah, I just went there.
Sure, Black Friday a horrific example of overindulgence and consumerism, but it goes perfectly with a holiday where we gorge ourselves on far too much food.
Growing up, Turkey Day was often spent with dozens of other American expats who all brought their favorite dishes for a food-coma-inducing potluck. When I came back to America, I’d never heard of Black Friday. After a brief explanation from a friend: “Yeah, you just wake up really early and go shopping because shit’s like on sale…” I decided it seemed like such a quaint American experience.
The first Black Friday shopping in 2008 yielded the purchase of an iPod (I probably only saved $20 because Apple sales are pretty terrible). It was a Christmas present from my parents, but I was able to get the discount so I went ahead and bought it for them for me. I still use that same 120 GB iPod today.
In subsequent years, Black Friday has been about bonding with friends and family. There is never pressure to get in line early or be the first person through the door.
Instead, we go more for the fun of watching the craze and picking up a few items. There are always lists and budgets involved. Our purchases are often Christmas presents for each other — which means we try to employe ninja like tactics to keep each other from seeing what we’re buying. And when someone starts to get cranky and the simple fix of a donut to kick up blood sugar doesn’t help, we head home.
Oddly enough, my Mom and I don’t like shopping. We only go when we need to and don’t tend to buy much throughout the year, which makes our participation in Black Friday even stranger. It’s almost as if we save up all our energy the rest of the year just for one giant burst of shopping spree power!
This year, I have my eye on a 6-quart Crock-Pot (affiliate link) at Walmart for my Mom. It’s on her Christmas list and being sold at $9.44 which is about $30* cheaper than I’d get it on Amazon like I planned. Will I rush the doors of Walmart, throwing elbows and hurling trash talk in order to save myself $30? No. Will I have fun waking up at 4 am to go out shopping with my family and happen to pick up the Crock-Pot? Yes!
If you already planned to buy new clothing, or kitchen appliances or Christmas presents then Black Friday can actually be an opportunity to save money. If you’re just shopping for the sake of shopping — then you already know the answer.
I understand the hatred towards Black Friday spilling over into Thursday and interfering with Thanksgiving. I also agree that stores should have to wait until midnight to open their doors and allow their employees to enjoy the day with friends and family. But, I will still be waking up at the crack of dawn, heading out with my loved ones to score some deals and probably finish my Christmas shopping, because Black Friday doesn’t have to be about the madness and the consumerism. It can just be a fun experience
It also helps when you prepare like this….
BROKE MILLENNIAL WEEKLY WRAP-UP:
- Reuters - Generational Smackdown! Who is best at retirement savings? (featured)
- DailyFinance – Millennials: It’s Not Too Late to Plan for an Early Retirement (posted)
LINK LOVE: THE ANTI-BLACK FRIDAY POSTS EDITION (Basically all other Personal Finance bloggers)
- Why I’m Done With Black Friday – Red Debted Stepchild on L Bee and the Money Tree
- Stop the Black Friday madness! – Cash Rebel
- Is Black Friday Really Dead? – Frugal Rules
- Shopping Deals for the Rest of the Year – Budget and the Beach
- How I Feel About Black Friday [in Gifs] – Budgets are $exy (not totally hating, but highly amusing)