Black Friday is perhaps the ultimate example of where the Holiday rush leads us away from relaxing with loved ones and into long lines at the mall.† After an epic meal the day before, we get up at 4am to wait in long lines for door prizes and sales.† We buy things we donít really need or even want, just for the thrill of the chase.† After Christmas, the planet groans with all that stuff.† And $13 billion of it, or 1 of every 5 presents we give, goes to waste.† Then we do it all over again next year.
For some of us, itís the thrill of feeling like we saved money.† For others, itís a great excuse to get out of the house when our family is driving us nuts.† For still others, itís a fun tradition and a chance to bond with the family or friends who come with us.
Thereís nothing wrong with any of these things.† But if saving money, getting out of the house, or sharing an experience with a friend are what we seek on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is hardly our only chance.
We can save money by giving better this year:† we can make something tasty for coworkers and friends.† We can stop worrying about filling stockings at the last minute with small, cheap presents and maybe fill them with a donation to their favorite cause or a check instead.† We can focus on 1 or 2 good presents for our kids (a karate class? skating lessons?) and stop worrying about trying to fill the space under the tree.