Recently, one of my friends made this comment online
thinking about what black Friday deals to camp out for… LOL!
The idea makes me cringe. Camping out for a deal? I realize that there are some great door busters out there on Black Friday, but… yeah, I can’t bring myself to do it. There is nothing that I need and/or want that much.
I have made this argument before and a number of parents responded saying “I want to be able to get this for my child, and so to me, it’s worth the time spent out in the cold to see their face on Christmas morning.” And okay, I understand that. I love watching people open gifts that I have gotten for them, especially when I know it’s something they will love (if I’m not sure, I cringe and hope for the best). But I have to wonder what that’s teaching our kids.
Either way, while I love a deal as much as the next person, there are limits. I know a lot of people who go out early on Black Friday for the adventure of it. Two years ago, I went to the outlet malls at midnight with a friend. And yes, I bought a few things that I still use today. But I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and thus, wasn’t stressed or frustrated by not getting it. It was definitely an adventure. And not one I want to repeat. I was so tired!
This year, the only Black Friday shopping I will be doing will be online. I volunteered to work the day after Thanksgiving so that my team members could have time with their families. That’s right, the U.S. Government is open for business on Black Friday. I’m sure you noticed (well, you probably did, if you got mail that day). I’m not going home for Thanksgiving this year, but I will be spending Thursday with a bunch of friends in similar positions.
Are any of you planning to camp out on Black Friday? Are you going for any particular deals or are you just going for the adventure of it all?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
I’m going to be out early on Black Friday but I won’t be camping out. I checked the ads and some of the things I was planning to purchase anyway will be on sale at good prices. But I’m going more for the adventure– I’ve never done Black Friday before. I’ll be at Target at 5 just to see what all the hubbub is about. 🙂
Camp out? No way. I like sleeping too much to haul my fanny out of bed in the middle of the night to go spend money. Honestly, I don’t care HOW good the deal is!
Kristen@The Frugal Girl says
I HATE Black Friday shopping. You won’t find me camping out, that’s for sure.
Read the fine print — some stores offer limited supply with no rain checks! You’ll be waiting for nothing.
I have done the full-on Black Friday experience exactly once. It was fun in that weird, spectator kind of way. There were plenty of things I wanted to get, nothing I *needed* to buy. But I was at a friend’s place and her mom offered to take us out at 4 a.m.
When we got there — doors opened at 5 — there were well over 100 people. It was a crush. It was a madhouse. We went to four or five stores and, after that, we all went home and took a long, long nap. But it was fun to have done it.
That said, the last couple of years I’ve been lucky. Doorbusters haven’t been appealing enough to get me up in the wee morning hours. and my mom was often going to stores I needed things from anyway. So I just put in requests with her.
This year, we’re on our own in Arizona, so we’ll have to brave some Black Friday crowds for a couple good deals. But we’re still not going to be there when doors open. We’re just not that committed.