Today is Black Friday. The day after US Thanksgiving has traditionally been the opening of “Christmas shopping” season and a day that can make or break a company’s bottom line for the year. People have been lining up since the wee morning hours for great deals on everything from soap to HD televisions. But is it all worth it?
Whether or not it’s worth it is an entirely personal evaluation. For me, it’s not. I would rather laze around the house with my family, eating leftovers, playing games, and watching movies. If one of your goals is to spend more quiet time with friends and family, maybe this is the year to try not heading into the fray on Black Friday. Unless you’re already out there…then good luck!
For some people, it’s absolutely worth it because they love shopping and have spent hours poring over circulars, planning a route and all their purchases. For them, it’s not about saving money and scoring a huge deal, although that might be a nice perk, it’s about the process. They’ve gathered friends, fueled up with a yummy breakfast, and are looking forward to wrapping up all their seasonal shopping with a cocktail by lunchtime. For them, it’s about time out and about in a bustling, festive environment. If this is you, then go for it and don’t let anyone tell you not to!
If you are only going out because you need something and believe you are going to pay a crazy low amount for it, then you need to do a bit of research before you head out. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going for and then check out the actual savings. Is it low enough to get you and up and moving extremely early in the morning (or late the night before?) Most stores only have one or two of the very lowest priced items. It’s also very possible that the price will hold over to Cyber Monday where you can order the item from the comfort of your home (and pajamas.) If you want to be really diligent, check out these recommended price tracking apps from LifeHacker.
Black Friday can be a great opportunity to get an item that you wouldn’t be able to afford any other time of year. Maybe your washing machine needs replacing or you’d love to have a dishwasher for the first time ever. Maybe your family is in need of essentials like clothes and towels. It is possible to score some great deals if you do the research and are prepared to sacrifice a chunk of time to get them.
Whatever you decide to do on the Friday after Thanksgiving, make sure it brings you joy. In the end, that’s all that really matters.