3 questions to ask yourself before that Black Friday saleNov 22, 2022
Ooph, I don’t know about you but every year the holiday sales seem to arrive earlier and appear more flashy without really saving too much more than we could at other times of the year?
Do you feel that way too?
I am not a “buy nothing” or “protest the sales” advocate. I’m all about balance and value over extremes that just don’t end up being sustainable.
There has to be a space we can all show up that doesn’t shame a Black Friday sale but also doesn’t spend like there’s no tomorrow, right? There must be a way to sift through the noise, advertisements, and links while stepping towards the purchases that will serve us best now and a month from now.
To help you find that middle ground, here are 3 questions to ask yourself before clicking "buy now":
- What is my specific reason for making this purchase at this time? When we name the motivation behind the purpose, we might be surprised at what we discover. Am I caught up in making my life look like someone else’s? Am I giving into a sale just because it’s at a discount even though it isn’t something I would have otherwise bought? Is this something I or someone I love has wanted for a long time and this price fits in my budget? This exercise isn’t to stop you from buying anything. It’s to stop you from buying something for a reason you aren’t happy about.
- Am I ready to store or use this item? This is a big one for me. My closet is full, our toy bins are full. I might love that holiday sweater, but do I even have an event to use it for? When we close our eyes and try to put ourselves at January 2nd with the holidays past, and only the credit card bills remaining, will we be proud of our November self, or will we wish our November self had realized how giant that truck set was before we bought it 😅
- How does this purchase fit into the rest of my financial picture? No purchase is ever made in isolation. Since the amount of money we have is a set number, saying "yes" to one thing will always mean saying "no" to something else. So ask yourself “if I say 'yes' to checking out with this cart, what does it mean I’m saying 'no' to?” As much as we wish we could say all the yesses, life doesn’t work that way! So we have to ask, "if I can’t have both a paid off credit card and a third pair of boots this winter, which one do I actually want more?”
Bonus action item: Set a reward for answering these questions honestly and staying on track! If you have a $500 Christmas budget, decide what your reward will be for staying on budget this year. A $20 self reward is a whole lot cheaper than going over budget by $200. Sometimes “saving money” is a pretty boring incentive and doesn’t change what we do. But the idea of an extra lunch out just for yourself after Christmas just might do the trick.
I hope your Thanksgiving and your shopping endeavors are full of intentional actions that move you towards gratitude and joy! The greatest gift you can be able to give yourself this Black Friday weekend might just be opening yourself to something less extreme than buy nothing or buy whatever looks good.
If you're tired of budget whiplash, and you're ready to experience contentment with your home finances, I have a lot of resources that can help. Check out the Debt Free Mom library to see how you can take your next step towards managing your home finances with confidence.