Retailers are trying to con you and they are doing a good job at it. At least they are doing it well enough to be able to con enough people to make the whole Grey Thursday (the new name for those stores that are actually opening on Thanksgiving now) and Black Friday hype worthwhile to them. If you go out and shop on Thanksgiving or the day after, you have fallen prey to the notion that you’re getting a deal and saving money, but the reality is much different. The fact is that when you buy something that you don’t need or that you would otherwise never buy, it doesn’t matter how great a deal it is — you aren’t saving money.
This is an extremely important concept to understand, and it’s one that’s essential if you want to get your finances in order. When you buy into the notion that if you buy something at a significantly discounted price, you have achieved a “great deal,” you lose. That is playing the game on the retailers’ terms and all it ultimately means is that you have a lot of stuff (most of which you never needed or which helps you achieve your true financial goals). Price has little to do with a great deal. Here are some hard truths to digest before you head out the door to score your perceived Black Friday deals:
A deal is never a deal if you are buying something that you don’t need.
A deal is never a deal if you are buying something simply for the price.
A deal is never a deal if you end up buying something that you had not planned to buy.
Those are the types of “deals” that are available on these first holiday shopping days. They are deals to drive you into the store, to make you think you are getting something special so you feel good and spend even more money within the retailers’ building. They are promotions to try to con you into believing you are missing out on something if you don’t participate (why else would there be such huge lines and everyone else wanting to get in?)
I urge you not to play the game. Resist the con. Don’t follow just because everyone else is doing so. Do yourself a financial favor and simply opt out of Gray Thursday and Black Friday shopping. Tell your friend and family to do the same. If you’re still not convinced, here is one simple question to ask yourself:
Is what your planning to buy going to help you achieve your financial goals?
My guess is that it isn’t. If you don’t know what your financial goals are, that’s not an excuse to shop. That simply means that it’s time to sit down and really figure out what you goals are. Once you do, there’s a high probability that they have nothing to do with the retailers’ hopes that you spend money in their stores on one certain day of the year…