My first experience with Black Friday shopping came during my senior year of high school. I needed a computer for college, and did not have much money to spend on it. A friend suggested buying one on Black Friday.
Armed with a sleeping bag, a camping chair, and layers of warm clothing, I started my first Thanksgiving night campout. The store would not open for another eight hours, but they only guaranteed that each store would have ten of the computers I wanted. Several hours later I went home with a brand new computer at a fraction of its original cost. All of that excitement had me hooked. I knew right then and there that Black Friday shopping would be an annual event and I eventually convinced the rest of my family to join me.
Here are 4 Reasons You Should Consider Making Black Friday a Tradition for Your Family:
1. Together Time
Black Friday shopping is an exciting time for parents and their children to be together. Opportunities for you to enjoy your family abound—in the car as you travel to different stores, standing in line, and as you hunt for your next purchase. Even those who are not usually shoppers find themselves getting into Black Friday for this reason.
Every year my Dad and my husband try to talk their way out of joining us for this shopping event — and every year they end up coming along after all, simply because they do not want to miss out on the rest of us having a great time without them! Husbands can take a few years off if there are young children in your family, but when the kids are old enough, you’ll find this is a great time of togetherness for people of all ages.
2. Saving Money
If your budget is anything like mine, you are always looking for ways to save money. We begin saving for Christmas in January, so by the end of November we have everything we need to buy a nice gift for everyone on our list. Shopping on Black Friday allows us to upgrade many of those gifts while not spend any more money than we had planned. Retailers lower prices significantly on this one day of the year and it is to your advantage to capitalize on those prices.
3. Teaching Opportunities
The lessons kids can learn on Black Friday translate into important life skills.
- Budgeting—knowing how much money you have to spend—and sticking to it—models to kids how to spend their money wisely.
- Organizing—sifting through dozens of sale ads can be overwhelming at first glance. The skills learned while going through these ads in an orderly way helps when working on homework, taking on a new job, sorting laundry, and a myriad of other life activities.
- Planning—deciding where to go (and when to go there) are essential for surviving the Black Friday rush. Juggling store hours, battling parking lot crowds, and making decisions about what to get at each store are all important if you’re going to getting everything on your list.
- Prioritizing—when working within a budget, prioritizing is an important skill. Keeping to the list and making adaptations according to supply and demand require some well thought out priorities. Knowing who is getting which gifts and having a back-up plan will keep your shopping adventure running smoothly.
4. You Can Buy for More Than Christmas
Black Friday shopping is not just limited to Christmas presents. Many of your favorite clothing stores have great sales that can help get your growing kids through the rest of the winter—all while saving money!
You can also plan ahead for birthdays and other gift-giving events. If you are waiting until your June anniversary to surprise your husband with the new television he has had his eye on, buying it in November could save you some serious cash. Just make sure you are good at hiding presents…and remembering where you hide them!
My family will enjoy our eleventh year of Black Friday shopping together this year. The memories we’ve made over the years — and the amazing spoils from our expeditions — are still talked about and enjoyed today. This year, perhaps you can create these memories by establishing this new tradition for your family — and getting all of your Christmas shopping done in just a few hours.