It’s been awhile since my last blog post, Black Friday’s Almost Here – Are You Ready? I asked the question and a loyal Gain Money Control reader responded with a well thought out and intriguing perspective on Black Friday. While he did not list the best deals to catch or any steals, his response begged the financial question – Do You Really Need It? After all, shouldn’t there be some consideration given to whether you need it, before you go out and buy it.
Been a while since we spoke although I do stop by time to time to check up on what ” the Kem is cooking”. I see that you are offering black friday info. Just wanted to add a slightly different perspective on this whole phenomenon. I think you used the word “purpose driven” shopping and I find that that is the only reason to shop on black friday. Unless you have a specific need that you have been planning on, there is no real need to be spending money on black friday. There is often a tendency to buy stuff just because its a good deal. I just want people to understand that there is no law saying that you should spend money on black friday. Spend it only if you need it. This advice may not be appropriate were it a average year. But the economic environment is still such that, saving money is especially sound financial planning.
As always I appreciate all the comments I receive on the Gain Money Control blog (provided they are not SPAM – that is 🙂). It enables us to have a two way conversation and as you may have gathered from Mr. T’s comment it really adds to the discussion. Having financial discipline is essential to practicing good money management habits.
The reason why I said, “Oh, the joys of shopping with a purpose” is because I tend to be a disciplined shopper. As with any sales, retailers provide some items at rock bottom prices to get you in the door, while keeping prices on other items relatively the same or slightly discounted. I use Black Friday deals as an opportunity to purchase the items we need at bargain prices.
Shopping on Black Friday for me is like being on a mission. Before going out I’ve looked through the ads, identified the items I need to buy, factored in our budget and compared the prices (retail versus sale prices, even checked online) to make sure I’m getting a deal. Next, I compile a specific and detailed shopping list per store (including the items and price details). I shop with laser sharp focus on the items on my list and take the ads with me just in case I need to price match anything.
I know it sounds like a lot, but I really enjoy it. My husband says, “I love to do it!” And he may be right about that one. 😉 This year one shopper saw my list and told me “that’s some list you have there!” I replied with a big smile and said, “Yes, it is.” Need I say again, “Oh, the joys of shopping with a purpose.”
I guess you could call me a disciplined spender. In Thomas J. Stanley’s, Ph.D. book The Millionaire Mind, it does a wonderful job describing a disciplined person:
“A disciplined person sets his or her sights on a lofty target, then figures out productive ways to reach the target. Disciplined people are not easily sidetracked – they could live in a warehouse filled with top-brand alcoholic beverages and not indulge themselves. They could live in a French bakery and not gain weight. Or they could encounter hundreds of economic opportunities and then select the one or two that are best suited to their strengths and the market’s needs.”
I’ve always been a frugal shopper and smart shopping is the key to saving more money. That’s why I added the important financial tip on the “Black Friday’s Almost Here – Are You Ready?” post:
IMPORTANT Financial Tip: As with any other financial decision, I encourage you to do your research, evaluate your budget and place needs over wants. Black Friday and other notable sales days are a great time to take advantage of bargains, but be mindful of whether you need it first and plan ahead (shopping list). The goal is to save money on the things you need to buy.
In summary, next time you go shopping whether it’s to the grocery store, hardware store or department store always consider the question – Do You Really Need That? Sure there may be fancy displays at the checkout, a smiling sales associate offering you a deal or those infamous Big Red SALE signs, but despite it all remember to ask yourself this simple question – Do You Really Need That? The more disciplined you become with your spending, the more you’ll have to save.
Thanks again Mr. T for sharing your perspective!