In fact, over 160 million shoppers will buy something over the five-day holiday weekend. But the entire premise of Black Friday is based on the foundation of selling us things we don’t need.
If you don’t need an item on Thursday… why would you need it on Friday?
Or… what makes Black Friday any different than last Friday? If you didn’t need an item in your life last week, why would it be suddenly needed this week?
And yet many of us will succumb to the cultural expectation of shopping on Black Friday spending over $1,000 this weekend unnecessarily buying things we don’t need, adding to the collection of unneeded items already cluttering up our closets, drawers, basements, and garages.
Look around your home, you already have everything you need. If you really did need something, you already went to the store and bought it—well before a special Friday randomly placed after a holiday in November.
Your family already has everything it needs.
The things we buy on Black Friday are, almost by definition, things we don’t need. Only in America do we wait in line and push past others to buy items one day after giving thanks for everything we already have.
All those Black Friday ads you keep seeing—they are only there to convince you to buy something you don’t need.
And that’s exactly how they do it. Every advertisement, at its core, seeks to convince you that you will be happier if you buy whatever they’re selling. They stir up discontent and work to convince us that our lives will be happier, more convenient, more luxurious, or more impressive if we buy what they are selling.
The goal of advertising is to change our minds about what we need. As a result, what seemed entirely unnecessary last year has become this year’s must-have product.
But if it wasn’t needed last year, it isn’t needed this year.
How do we save our hard-earned money during Black Friday? We turn off the noise.
We turn off the messaging that is directly designed to convince us to buy things we don’t need.
This holiday season, rather than entertaining all the offers that will arrive in your email inbox, unsubscribe from as many retailer emails as you possibly can.
And see how much you save—not just financially, but in your humanity.
At the bottom of every email you receive this week announcing the biggest and best Black Friday sales, you will find a small sentence (usually in the fine print) that says, “To unsubscribe, click here.”
Go ahead, click unsubscribe. And turn off the noise.
At first, the project will seem unwinnable. But trust me, it is a battle you can win—and will be happier when you do.
At first, you might be clicking dozens and dozens of “unsubscribe” buttons every day. But slowly, the number of advertisements you receive in your inbox will get less and less. You may click 50 emails the first day… 40 emails the second day… 30 emails the third day… but you will be surprised how quickly they begin to subside.
When they do, you will discover a new level of peace and contentment in your life. You will discover a new approach to the holiday season.
Rather than being constantly bombarded with pictures of all the things you don’t have, you will be reminded of all the blessings you do have.
Thanksgiving will no longer become a day to map out your shopping path for Black Friday. Thanksgiving will become a day to give thanks for your blessings. Besides, if you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy this weekend to change that.
As you unsubscribe from the constant barrage of emails telling you that you don’t have enough, you will feel less manipulated. You will feel more like a human and less like a consumer.
And you’ll save $1,047 in the process.