November 22, 2009

Tip of the day

Many people are more excited about the Black Friday sales than they are Thanksgiving this year.  The thrill of the deal is intoxicating.  I know—I’ve been there before.  I’ve mapped out my plan for Black Friday sales, I’ve gathered my shopping bags and coupons, I’ve strapped on my sneakers, and I’ve scored some fantastic deals.  More times than not, though, I’ve ended the day feeling exhausted, irritated, and frustrated.  The deals I planned to score on were sold out when I arrived at the store.  The stores were crowded, and it was difficult to find salespeople able to help.  People were ugly towards one another; they were pushy or frazzled.  I’ve made too many impulse buys or ate out more than one time in a day (and on the day when just about everyone has an abundance of leftovers at home that need eating).  I had buyer’s remorse. 

This year, I encourage you to ask yourself if it is really worth it to shop on Black Friday.  Do a simple cost benefit analysis—are the resources I would use worth what I would receive in return?  This year, the answer is no for me.  Almost all of our holiday shopping has been completed, leaving only some homemade gifts and a few odds and ends.  I plan to spend time with family, enjoy the leftovers, and start work on the holiday cards that we will send out. 

If you do plan on shopping on Black Friday, I encourage you to plan ahead, which is the entire reason I’m posting this early in the week.  Stick to your list, consider if the prices are really worth the buy, pack some snacks and a few drinks, and take breaks.  For Goodness sake, don’t storm a store and risk injury or worse.  Nothing, no matter how good the price, is worth injuring yourself or someone else.  Take a deep breath and a step back if you find yourself frazzled or irritated. 

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