Beware Black Friday & the Holiday Shopping Craze

November 23, 2007

As you go through the checkout line this holiday season try the following experiment. Take all your full shopping bags directly to the Salvation Army. Keep one and give the remainder away. Repeat this every shopping trip. How long would it be before you dramatically decreased the amount you bought or just stopped shopping all together?

Disposable Gifts
Seem a little drastic? Did you realize that many of the things you buy for gifts will eventually end up being thrown away or donated? Of course there are some items that will be used and cherished for years but then there’s the other group of gifts that will just lay around the house for a year or two, then get bagged up and disposed of.

Out With the Old, In With the New
Right now we have three big bags full of stuff sitting in our entry way waiting to be donated. It struck me how ridiculous it was that only a day before Black Friday, we were cleaning out stuff, to make room for more stuff we’ll get over the holidays. We’re actually not participating in the mad shopping dash the day after Thanksgiving since we’re out of town this year. However, had we been at home, I think those three big bags would have kept me at home with my wallet closed.

Fashion Cycle
It seems one of the worst offending items is clothing. We buy more shirts, shoes, pants, belts, and purses even though the ones we have are still comfortable, functional, and probably even still fashionable. We haul bags of old clothes to Salvation Army then empty our wallets to fill their spots with brand new items. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but it’s in the clothing industry’s best interest to make it seem very sensible to you. Just keep in mind that many of those retail purchases you make in the next month are destined for the donation pile.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Beware Black Friday & the Holiday Shopping Craze

  • kitty

    Another thing about holiday buying is it is just unpleasant. Why spend so much time in a store, waiting in line, with all the crowds? Sure there are sales, but there’ll be more sales on Christmas, even more after the New Year. Some TVs on sale may disappear, but all electronics gets cheaper, so the price for this new TV or computer is likely to be even less come January, IMHO.

    Additionally, this is flu season. You may just catch something in a crowded store.

    Oh, and with major purchases, there is always internet. With a little research, it is possibly to get better deals than what they offer in a store on sale.

  • Terrence

    Great post, I couldn’t agree more. So many people get into this vicious cycle of buying, throwing away, and buying some more. People need to break themselves of this habit. This is especially true during the holidays, where it seems that its so important to BUY something for someone to show them how much you love them.