With Thanksgiving just around the corner, all the stores are prepping for their "Black Friday" sales. I used to get excited about looking through the ads and making a game plan for getting all the items I wanted, but not this year. Instead of splurging on shopping for one day, I have chosen to stay home. These are the reasons I have opted out of "Black Friday" shopping, and how much it will save us.
Snacks and meals
Shopping for me started at midnight. This means I needed to load up on coffee and a snack before hitting the road and standing in lines. I would spend close to $10 on coffee for the entire stretch, which usually ended about 10am the next morning. My girlfriends and I would hit a restaurant for an early lunch before heading home, which would cost close to $15. Just those two things alone were $25. If you add in snacks throughout the night, I was spending close to $30 on food and drinks alone in a 12-hour period.
I always budgeted money to take with me on the big day. The problem with that was, I always carried extra cash for food and snacks. I would often splurge on things I didn't need or want just because the deal was amazing. One year I ended up with four fleece blankets because they were $3 a piece. That was a wasted $12. There was another incident where the sales lady at the cosmetic counter talked me into buying a boxed set of items when I really only needed the perfume. That set me back $27. While I can't be sure how much I would spend recklessly, I can safely say it would be at least $20.
No room for "extra" in our budget
In years past I have saved a bit of money each month to take with me on my adventures. It ranged anywhere from $150 to $200. This year, it just wasn't possible. We have had a rough few months, and anything extra was put away into various savings envelopes. I have already begun Christmas shopping, and dropping that kind of money in one day would not only be foolish, but it would bust our November budget.
Opting out of "Black Friday" shopping this year is not something I want to do, but it needs to be done. Just by avoiding this one day, we are saving almost $250. That money can be better spent elsewhere, especially considering the financial ups and downs we have had this year.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor First Person: We're Skipping the 401(k)
- Banking & Budgeting