With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, and Christmas around the corner, I’ve been preparing ahead. Truth be told, since Thanksgiving doesn’t involve gifts, I’ve been focusing more on Christmas.
Over the past few weeks I’ve purchased and wrapped about half of my gifts. I should have the rest either bought or made – and wrapped – within the next week or so.
Why am I working so far ahead? My hope is that it will reduce the stress I normally feel and let me enjoy the holidays more (usually I have the gifts purchased well ahead of time, but I put off wrapping until Christmas Eve night and then stay up late to get it done!).
Another benefit to planning ahead for the holidays is that I don’t have to buy at peak times. Instead of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, I can spend time with family and friends.
I feel that being with loved ones is important when the holidays begin. But there are additional reasons I don’t shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and neither should you. Here are a few for you to consider.
It Cuts into the Thanksgiving Holiday
As I already mentioned, when you shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday it cuts into your Thanksgiving holiday. You might think it will be a quick trip to the mall, Walmart, or Target. However, in my experience, those quick trips are generally anything but quick.
Obviously you might be doing your shopping online rather than in person, as more and more people do these days. No matter how you shop, online or in person, you’re still cutting into time you could spend in other ways.
If your time with friends and family is short, spend it with them. Play games, watch movies, talk, and simply enjoy each other’s company. Down the road you won’t remember what you bought or how much you saved. But, even years later, you’ll remember the good times you shared with others.
You’ll Get More Done
Here’s an additional hint about why I don’t shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. While other shoppers bustle about fighting the cold and crowds, I’ll already be done.
I’ll get more sleep since I won’t be online or freezing in a line somewhere at 4 a.m. In turn, that will make me energized and ready to take on other tasks.
The time I save will let me do cleaning, cooking, and decorating. As Christmas draws closer, I’ll be more prepared and less stressed. Those are some of the reasons I don’t shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and you shouldn’t either.
Impulse Buying is More Likely
Shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday leaves you more susceptible to impulse buying. You may not have had time to comparison shop and will be more likely to buy something while you’re there.
After all, you want the time spent shopping to be worth it, right? Besides, who can resist when all the signs say, “Sale, sale, sale”?
Wrong. I’ve found that I actually spend more when shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Afterward, I nearly always see at least one item I bought listed for less money in a flyer or online. That irritates me because I spent more than I should have.
Before shopping on these days when retailers are out to get your money, do your homework. Go online and compare prices ahead of time. Look through sales flyers and watch for ways to save. That way you aren’t tempted to buy the first thing you see that has been “marked down”.
You Might Fall for Retail Tricks
Let’s face it: retailers are not really trying to save you money. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were created to part you of your money and put it in their pockets instead. They will suck you in with sneaky sales tricks you may not even be aware of.
One such ways is by emphasizing that there are limited quantities of high demand items. Then they’ll offer a ridiculously low price on it if you’re first in line to buy it at 6 a.m.
Unfortunately, it’s a trap. Retailers just want to get you in the door – or looking online. They know that while you’re there you’ll most likely buy additional items and overpay for them.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there are lots of other reasons you shouldn’t shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Some include avoiding pushy sales people, not fighting crowds, and avoiding FOMO, which is the fear of missing out.
So, take it from someone who’s seen several decades of Black Friday’s and Cyber Monday’s come and go. Buy early, comparison shop, and save before the holiday’s hit.
Make a list, cap your spending, watch for sales, and use coupon codes. Look for discounted gift cards to either buy as gifts or use to get items for less money. DIY what you can and wrap cheaply or creatively.
Do everything possible to avoid shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You won’t regret it and neither will your budget.
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Do you traditionally shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Why or why not?