Today is so-called Black Friday. I'm planning on saving a lot of money today. In fact, if you're going shopping today, I'm pretty sure I'm going to save more money than you. Why? Because I'm not buying anything. I just read a comment on Facebook from a guy who said he had gotten four HDTVs for under $1000. Well, I'm saving almost $1000 more than him. Why? Because I have no need for a hi-definition television. Or any other kind for that matter. I don't need a new computer. I don't need a new home theater. I don't need to get my niece or nephew that latest toy that's going to sell out in two minutes when everybody stampedes the store, trampling the slow and infirm underfoot.
Black Friday is essentially the repudiation of Thanksgiving. Seriously. All the gratitude we expressed yesterday for time with family and friends, for good food, and for the opportunity to be together? It all gets thrown out the window today for a the push and shove and competition of the shopping crowds all trying to get there soon enough to get the same things.
I am sympathetic to the idea that people need to do their Christmas shopping done, and that doing it today means spending less per item, but being lured in to all the best deals doesn't always mean spending less money overall, especially when the shopping frenzy lures people into buying more than they would have otherwise, in the name of getting a "good deal."
There was a time when saving money meant earning money and putting it in your pocket? The way people talk about Black Friday, it seems to mean putting your money in someone else's pocket.
If you really want to save money, it's not going to happen in a day of shopping. It's going to happen by setting a budget that is below your means and sticking to it month after month. Now if sticking to that budget means that you're doing some of your shopping today, well okay, but be careful out there.
Personally, I'm skipping Black Friday this year in favor of Thankful Friday. I'm going to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving going a little longer by spending time with loved ones, playing games, walking my dog (and my neighbor's dog, who I'm watching while they're out of town), eating tasty leftovers, reading a book, and spending some time outside in the lovely weather, and working on a few projects around the house.
It looks to be a full yet relaxing day.