Financial Musings – Black Friday/Cyber Monday

So today is Cyber Monday and I typically try not to get caught up in the hype. Actually, in the past few years I have been a bit of a grinch come Christmas time and have been quite stingy with gifts. The gluttony of Black Friday in particular has left a bad taste in my mouth and I avoid the mall as a form of protest. Who needs to leave Thanksgiving dinner early to buy another TV?

But last year I think I took my Grinch spirit a little too far and I did not buy any Christmas gifts. I also waited until the night before Christmas to get a tree! (See my Charlie Brown tree below – it was on a table to make it look tall). It was a sad time. I felt awful that I had nothing to give.

Small Christmas tree

My three foot Christmas tree, purchased for $20 because it was about to get trashed.

This year, I really want to get into the Christmas spirt. I plan on decorating early, and giving out gifts again. It’s a season of giving, not of getting, and I actually ENJOY picking out gifts that I hope my family will really appreciate, even if all I get is a thank you in return.

I managed to get through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, only spending a little over $200 and have already crossed off four people from my list! I was able to get a new Kindle Fire for $30, hopefully it will encourage reading and not just watching movies on the Amazon app, lol. I also purchased journals that are supposed to help you reach your goals in 30 days. The next thing I want to do is figure out how I can give a stock/mutual fund as a gift. I googled “Betterment as a gift” and I see that they used to have gift program but decided to discontinue it. Oh well.

For my first Cyber Monday shopping for gifts, I actually felt good about my purchases… though I missed out on an additional 10% on one item. Curses! I’m realizing that it is not so bad when you are buying for others and getting meaningful gifts.

But the key to shopping on crazy sale days really is to start with a budget, spend within your means and DO NOT get caught up in the frenzy. I had to take some things out of my cart a few times.

So how was your Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Did you take it easy, or burn a whole in your wallet?

Leave a Reply