For most of my life I loved Black Friday shopping. There was a thrill to it. I would be spend hours searching fliers and online advertisements to put together my strategy of how I would attack each store to get the best deals. It was a tradition and every red blooded American is supposed to participate right? Plus I was saving so much money how could I not be a Black Friday shopper?
For way too long that is how I thought. The unfortunate reality is that the entire time I thought like that I always struggled financially. Thankfully I had some mentors come into my life who helped me improve my thinking which led to me yielding better results in my life. Now I understand Black Friday for what it truly is. It is a glorified advertising gimmick meant to enslave Americans in a consumerism mindset and debtor lifestyle. Let me offer four reasons why I never participate.
#1 It Sends The Wrong Message
Black Friday comes the day after Thanksgiving. Now for most of us that signals the start of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the many blessings we have. It is a time to reflect and truly be mindful of the countless ways we are blessed. Waking up super early the next day, fighting with thousands of other shoppers, and spending all day buying things hardly seems to be a great continuation of the Thanksgiving holiday. Especially for those of us who are parents we always have to be mindful of what we model and teach our children. Do we want our children to be obsessed with shopping?
#2 The Deals Are Not All They Are Cracked Up To Be
Let’s not lose sight of why stores run Black Friday “sales”. They do it to get you to buy something. It is not because they are benevolent and want to help your family have a better Christmas. The idea of these super sales has been greatly exaggerated. Check out this Nerd Wallet comparison of Black Friday sales. There are very few true bargains out there. They are limited quantities only and they are used to lure millions of shoppers into their stores where they wind up buying several other items which are not being offered at a great discount.
#3 You Can’t Afford It
If you have to put Black Friday deals (Or any Christmas shopping) on a credit card you don’t need them even if it is on an interest free credit card. I understand that we are constantly sold the message in our country that we have to buy these expensive gifts all of the time and that is simply not true.
Debt if a weapon used to enslave us. A borrower is servant to the lender. I encourage you to consider fewer and less expensive items and gifts. If you are shopping for Christmas presents get creative and remember that
If your family is not 100% debt free that should be a top priority. None of us care what video game we got when we were 10 years old. What I can tell you is if you give your friends and family the gift of showing them how to live a debt free lifestyle that is a gift that will carry on into future generations.
#4 Be Countercultural
If you are doing what everyone else is doing you are probably doing the wrong thing. What if you began new and positive traditions in your family that you could do on Black Friday? There are several creative ideas out there. An overwhelming majority of financially successful people do not get caught up in the Black Friday madness. If you think it is because they have plenty of money and do not care about sales you are half right. The other part of the equation is rich people think differently. That is how we become rich. If you want to produce better results you first must start with better thinking. What if you focused on adding value and investing your time instead of selling it to retailers like the masses do? I encourage you to learn to value your time better.
My Challenge for you this Thanksgiving is to choose to be countercultural. Decide to not get sucked into consumerism and debt. Focus on living with a grateful spirit every day and invest that time into your family instead. What if you flipped the switch on in your mind and committed to living a debt free life and you no longer let material possessions rule your decisions? Would it be worth it?
Question: What is one tradition you could start this Friday instead of participating in Black Friday? Comment below.