Marketers are brilliant, they have convinced us that spending less money is the same as saving money. If you’re like most American’s you believe you save money when you buy things at a discount – on sale. (Thank those brilliant marketers for that thought.)
Now let’s think critically about it.
Spending is not saving
Let’s be clear – spending money is NOT saving money. When you spend money on anything, even with discounts, you are not saving money… you’re spending it.
Saving money means you’re choosing not to spend it. If you buy something at a discount, you don’t save, you simply spend less.
Rather than spending this year, sleep in and save money by skipping Black Friday sales choosing instead to fund your savings account with the difference.
Needs vs. wants
Is there anything wrong with spending money on Black Friday? You’ll have to answer that for yourself, but let’s address a few distinctions.
- Do you need what you’re buying? If so, then waiting for Black Friday means you’re planning ahead so you can spend less than normal.
- Do you want what you’re buying? If so, make sure all your needs are met, you have previously saved for the item, and have discussed it with your spouse or accountability partner.
So is there anything wrong with spending money on Black Friday? Draw your own conclusion but mine is simple – you can shop Black Friday to get deals on things you need or want as long as you understand the above facts and meet the mentioned criteria.
Choose to save instead
With the vast majority of your media consumption encouraging your to spend I’m happy to give you a healthy opposing option.
Rather than spending, make the positive decision to save. You already know which banks I recommend for checking, saving, and debit card rewards… so open an account of your choosing or fund a savings account at your existing bank.
After all, do you really need what you think you need? Do you really want the responsibility that comes along with more possessions?
Less is more
Betsy and I never considered spending a dime this year. Not because we don’t want anything, it’s more accurate to say we’re learning more possessions means more responsibility. Less money spent on possessions means less maintenance and/or debt. That in turn means less time spent working to pay for the possessions and debt, and more time for other things.
What other things? For us it means more time for love ones, more time for passionate work, and more time for ministry.
How would you focus your time if you had less debt and fewer possessions to maintain?
Gifts and purpose
God gives each of us spiritual gifts to be used for His glory. He also gives us purpose (or calling).
What are your gifts? What is your calling? It’s okay if you don’t know, but it’s not okay if you have never pondered the thought.
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 4:10-11
Rather than spending time pondering Black Friday purchases, think about how your time, money, resources, and gifts can be spent serving the Lord of glory. He’ll ask you about it one day, why not have an answer ready?
KC @ PsychoMoney says
I totally saw there was a point in my life that material things took up way to much of my time. Managing them, buying them, fixing them, it is amazing how much time material things can take from you.
Jason Geroges says
Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you. – Thomas Jefferson
Rob G says
Spending (because of advertised savings) on something you don’t need is wasting your money. Save on what you need… that’s savings… Sorry to state the obvious, but in a materialistic world, we seem to have lost touch with the realities of needs vs wants.
Bret @ Hope to Prosper says
Black Friday seems like fun to people who like to shop. I tried it a couple of years ago and it was a miserable experience. All of the “deals” were gone and people stayed up all night, just to save a couple of dollars on these items.
This year, I plan to participate in Small Business Saturday. I am going to buy most of our gifts from the small businesses in our community. We are going pretty light on Christmas this year. We really don’t need much.
Richard Brown says
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Spending money on a sale is only considered saving money if you are buying something that you NEED and would have bought anyways. But if you buy something that you normally would not have gotten if there was not a sale, then its not saving money, its simply spending.