You know what I’m talking about this week. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about doing it. Just don’t.
What am I talking about?
Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. The day after you have spent sitting at the table stuffing yourself full of delicious bird and filling and arguing with your relatives about how the trumpenführer is going to kill us all in a swath of nuclear fire. The day when the retailers of this country rely on you to put their bottom line over the top from loss to profit. The day when said retailers trot out all those magnificent deals on waffle makers, obsolete dvd players, and Darwin knows what else. They then sit back and watch the fun as everyone fights over said deals.
Don’t do it. Don’t go. Don’t spend the money on this crap. Don’t fall for the bullshit hype of another holiday season.
Here is a scary story. Seems there are people who went out last year and rang up tons of debt for the holidays, and are still paying off said debt!!! If you are one of these people, you need to have an intervention. Somebody needs to step in and slap the credit cards out of your dirty little paws and ‘splain the error of your financial ways.
At the end of the holiday season, when the bright lights go out, the tinsel droops to the floor, and the stockings no longer hang by the fireplace with care, those retailers and credit card warlords will be sitting in some enclave somewhere far away, drinking champagne from fine cut glassware, lighting cigars with $100 bills, and snorting coke off a hooker’s ass while laughing and arguing over who made the most profits. Meanwhile you’ll be cleaning up the mess and trying to calculate how much overtime you’ll need to put in during the next year just to pay the interest on the debts you rung up.
Look, I know, you want to have some nice holidays and get gifts for your loved ones and cheer up the house in the dreary dark and cold of winter. I understand. But show some restraint and common sense. Be practical, set a budget, tone things down a bit to more better fit in with your finances. Pay cash or go without. Or be like me, dump all the loved ones, and move to a tropical island where there is no dreary dark and cold of winter. You’d be amazed how much money you save.
It’s too easy to go overboard on this whole holiday season. The ads start popping up as early as August. The normal fall holidays seem to fade in the background as the end of December comes into view. SALES! BIG SAVINGS! MUST HAVE! The retailers love to throw the guilt trip on you by inferring you MUST spend money in order to have a happy and fulfilling holiday season.
You don’t. And you sure as hell don’t need to finance a holiday season with high interest rates and maxing out credit cards.
It’s just not worth the risk to your financial well being to go out and waste money on impractical gifts, overpriced seasonal decorations, and questionable charities. Stay away from the malls, those which are still open, the wallymarts, and other retailers as much as possible. From now until the end of the year said stores are set up to convince you to spend all your money and then the money you don’t have. Attention getting displays, pretty lights, and smiling sales weasels await when you enter and appear in every corner of every aisle. Retailers are experts at conning you out of your cash, believe me, I know. I worked in retail of more than 3 decades. I’ve seen all the tricks and all said tricks work, very effectively. If you stay away, the temptation won’t be there.
For some of you, the holidays are important and it’s ok. Nothing wrong with a little celebrating and have some fun. But not to the extent where it puts you financial hell for the year. Come February, the last thing anyone wants to see is a huge credit card bill for crap which has been long since eaten, drunk, or forgotten about. Use some common sense, be realistic with your budget, pay cash, and stick to the plan. You can still have a great time without breaking your bank.
Before going out and buying useless crap for gifts, ask those whom will be getting said gifts what they want. Be practical in what you give. Be creative if you can. Homemake something, or cook something for someone. Or just spend time with them. If you need to buy their friendship or love, they ain’t your friend or lover. Find more cheaper or free ways to enjoy the holidays.
If you do just have to go out to the stores, leave the credit cards and bank cards at home. Take a small amount of cash only and if and when it’s gone, your shopping is done. Go with the intent to get only what you intended to get, and nothing else. Not easy with all the hoopla but if you can show some restraint in your spending you’ll feel more better come the time when others are getting their credit card bills.
It is possible to enjoy the season without the financial burden. Pay attention to someone who has been there on both sides of the retail counter. More better to not spend than to ring up debt.
Everybody have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Eat too much, avoid political talk at the dinner table until the last of the turkey is gone. Stay home this weekend and don’t waste money.
Don’t do it.