Four Reasons NOT To Shop On Black Friday

I wonder what the pilgrims would think of the Black Friday phenomenon? I bet they’d say “What the hell?”

Heading out at 4 am to snag the best Black Friday deal under the guise of saving money is well… shortsighted.

You might have saved a buck, but are you evaluating the true cost of the effort? The people beating each other up to get into Wal-Mart certainly aren’t. Here are my four reasons you shouldn’t shop on Black Friday:

1. Thanksgiving is pissed
Thanksgiving is one of the major holiday’s left that doesn’t have a commercial angle. Christmas is stealing Thanksgiving’s thunder!

Let’s remember what Thanksgiving is about. Family. Gratitude. Community. Time off work. Home cooked meals. Football.

Don’t shortchange yourself on the Thanksgiving experience. Downtime with your loved ones to refuel and charge up for the holiday season ahead is what most people need.

Give yourself something you need, rest, versus something you want, more stuff.

2. The Crowds Aren’t Worth It
Who likes a huge crowd? No one. And in the age of online shopping, there isn’t a scenario where fighting the crowds would be worth it to me.

“But the shipping costs!” you say. I say, my time saved is well worth the shipping. Consider the cost of your sanity to fight the crowds. The cost of your time to drive to the store and wait in line. The risk that by the time you get there, the item you’re after will be gone. Take all the true costs of acquiring the item into account, not just the sticker price.

3. The Deals Aren’t Worth It
If you don’t “buy into” valuing your time, maybe the cold hard numbers will do the trick. Many studies have come out this year saying that Black Friday will not have the best deals of the holiday season. Depending on the item, some things are best purchased at the beginning of November, and some on Cyber Monday. (yes, that’s a thing)

4. You Don’t Need It
We have all seen the news coverage of Black Friday. Hundreds of people in line to buy a half-price flat screen or the toy of the season. As a Money Coach, I have to wonder how many of those people have credit card debt? How many have been stressed about finances in the last year?

Since the average US household has $15K in credit card debt, I’m going to assume, most of them can’t afford it. Credit card debt aside, I’m actually more interested in a different question, “how much more stuff do we really need?” Do we need to have a lavish Christmas to make it memorable?

It’s not a deal if you don’t need it.

So before you head out the door on Thanksgiving or Black Friday to shop, I hope you reconsider. Make turkey sandwiches with the family and be grateful for all the stuff you already have instead.