Is Black Friday all it’s cracked up to be?

Bondi Junction Shopping Mall

Image by Charlie Brewer via Flickr

Every year retail outlets entice us to shop on Black Friday. When I was a kid, the sales would start “early” at 8 AM on Friday morning. Now it’s a race to see who will open up the earliest for the best deals. 3 AM? Midnight? 10 PM on Thursday?

For some folks, the day isn’t about shopping. It’s about spending time with loved ones because that’s the only time they all have time off from their regular lives. If they find bargains, great. If not, their goal is to spend quality time together. They’re not on a shopping frenzy; they’re out to have fun.

But what about the folks who are determined to save money by purchasing items on this big sales day? Consider the actual cost of this adventure:



Time lost sleeping – you had to wake up a few hours earlier

Time spent in traffic to get to the stores

Time spent in traffic in the parking lot

Time spent waiting in line to get inside

Time spent fighting the cold – and getting a cold

Time spent fighting the crowds in the store

Time spent standing in checkout lines



Spending more than was budgeted because you get caught up in the excitement



Buying things you don’t need, just because it’s on sale, but you have nowhere to put it



If you don’t truly enjoy all of the above, then it’s taking a toll on your emotional well-being.


Take for example a rockin’ pair of boots. They’re normally $149, but they’re on sale for $99. That’s 33% off!!!!  You’ve got to take advantage of that, right? On a normal shopping day, it might take you one hour total to get to the store, find your size, make the purchase and go home. On Black Friday, however, it might take you three hours to do that. Plus, you saw a $200 purse that was on sale for (gasp!) 75% off and you grabbed it because it might go with one of your outfits. At 75% off, who could pass that up? While you might have saved $50 on that pair of boots, it cost you two extra hours to do it, plus you spent $50 that you hadn’t planned on, thus wiping out your monetary savings. And, if that purse doesn’t go with your outfit, you’ve just added to the clutter in your closet.

My shopaholic clients call me a buzz killer. I am, because those moments of unplanned splurges put a dent in wallets and add to the piles at home, both of which raise stress levels.

So tomorrow while you’re rubbing your stuffed belly and recovering from your glorious Thanksgiving feast, think about your goal for Black Friday. Are you out to have a good time catching up with friends and family? Enjoy! Or are you out for bargains? Consider what I’ve mentioned above and ask yourself if it’s still a bargain. If you deem that it is, create your shopping list and budget and stick to it.

About Helene Segura

Helene Segura teaches go-getters how to use their time more efficiently in order to have a more peaceful life. For details about her, be sure to visit

  • Michelle Poteet
    Posted at 09:30h, 23 November

    Love it! Great post Helene. And yes, is it really all it’s cracked up to be? I ran into a family (of 6 – grandma/mom/sisters) camped out at Best Buy…last Friday 11/18! They were camping out for ONE WHOLE WEEK to get a TV for $130, a Blu-ray for $30 and a handful of other things. Now, that said, they were playing cards, chatting it up, and honestly having a great time with each other. At first I was thinking it was crazy for them to be out there, but if you look at it from the other side, they were spending time together – having a blast!

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