Surviving Black Friday

Black Friday. It’s the day after Thanksgiving. It’s the one day out of the year where everyone gets to act like a bunch of crazy animals, trampling over store clerks and fighting over the latest gaming consoles. It’s the one day when families, after finishing their Thanksgiving dinner,  get together in the living room, pull out the ads, and plan their midnight trek through the consumer jungle.

But you’re a college student. You don’t have any money. How could you possibly get in on all the amazing deals offered this time of year? The simple answer to that one is you don’t. But if you’re smart and been saving your money, then you should have some money set aside to take part in some of the savings.

Get only what you absolutely NEED

There’s a fine line between necessities and luxuries. Kitchenware are things you may need. Tools and Appliances are things you may need. Clothing, if bought in moderation, are things you need. If you’re one to bring an industrial strength hair dryer though a desert, then you probably have your priorities out of sorts. You don’t need the latest iPhone. You don’t need a tablet, unless you’re using it to read your textbooks. You don’t need a laptop, unless it’s necessary for your school work. And you certainly don’t need a new gaming console; beg your parents for that one instead.

Try to avoid the electronics section

If you ever want to see the worst of humanity, travel to the electronics section of a retail store during Black Friday…well, maybe not the worst, but close enough. In fact, if there’s any reason to avoid shopping on Black Friday altogether, it’s the anxious, high-tempered atmosphere that’s surrounds you when you walk into a store packed full of human beings– it’s rather claustrophobic. Maybe it’s just my dislike towards being amongst crowds of people, because I certainly don’t enjoy it. Then again, some people get a rush out of that kind of stuff.

Shop online

The safest place to shop? Online. Not only do you get to take part in many of the sales at the safety of your computer desk, but everything you need to know about getting the best deals are at your fingertips. In fact, there many sales that take place exclusively on the internet, and are spread out through the weekend on to Cyber Monday. And depending on what you’re buying, some deals on following Monday may be better than what you may get on Friday.

My advice would be to just skip Black Friday altogether. Go online, find some deals, but don’t spend too much time or money on it. Instead, take the time to be with your family and friends. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful for all that God has provided for you; it’s not a time to get caught up in the consumer hype that precedes Christmas and New Years. It seems rather duplicative when after a time of thanksgiving, everyone runs out to pursue more material possessions. It’s as if we’ve forgotten Thursday by the time Friday comes around.