How to make Black Friday a day to teach your children the value of money? Try celebrating “Buy Nothing Day” instead!
What is “Buy Nothing Day?
Instead of getting wrapped up in the hype and buying as much as possible on Black Friday, there’s a growing movement to do the exact opposite and buy absolutely nothing – hence Buy Nothing Day! ‘Buy Nothing Day’ has been held on the same day as Black Friday since 1997. The rule is simple! You don’t buy anything for 24 hours. Many people are shocked about how difficult that actually is.
But why would you do it?
The idea is to make people think more about their spending and help them make better decisions about what they buy and where they buy it from. Hard to argue with that! So if you’re interested, here’s a few ideas to get you started…
Try a bit of ethical spending
Buy Nothing Day also aims to raise awareness of how to be a more ethical consumer. 😇🛍
If there are bargains your kids simply can’t resist, then you could try avoiding ‘fast fashion’ items. These are cheap clothing items that tend to be worn only a few times before being thrown away.Either the quality is poor so it only lasts a few wears, or their trend comes and goes before it’s even arrived at your front door! The more fast fashion bought (inevitably ending up in the bin the greater the impact on the environment, and their spend pot balance!)
Another example of ethical spending is choosing to buy Christmas cards made from recycled paper vs. plastic laminated ones that can’t be easily recycled. Or instead of buying cards, why not get the materials for your kids to make their own cards? Here’s a video of 6 Easy to Make Christmas cards! This can be a great way to help protect the environment, as well as saving you some money and keeping the kids entertained.
If you and your family do decide to partake in Buy Nothing Day (as in, buying nothing at all) here are some practical tips from us to share with your kids:
1. Talk about why your family are participating in Buy Nothing Day 🗣
It’s important to talk about why you and your kids are taking part in Buy Nothing Day and agree as a family on things that you could do for this day which don’t cost extra money.
2. Avoid the shops completely (in person and online) 🤫
Go for a walk as a family instead. Maybe avoid the highstreet and go to the local park!
… yourself (and your kids, if they’re using email) from any newsletters that are likely to send out lots of discounts to your favourite stores. We recommend proactively unsubscribing from these newsletters a week before Black Friday to avoid extreme temptation.
4. Challenging yourself to avoid discount temptation. Think twice before buying something 🤔
Your family can use this as an opportunity to discuss whether what you’re tempted by is a need or a want. You can explain the difference between a want and a need to your kids by saying something along the lines of ‘Needs’ are the essentials you need to live. A ‘want’ is something you’d like, but can live without.’
Check out our article of ‘Talking to Kids About Needs and Wants.’
Reflecting on your spending habits
If you decide to use Buy Nothing Day as an opportunity to think about how and what you spend. Here are some top tips you might want to consider:
1. If you do want to treat your kids - keep it to one thing and one thing only (if possible!) 😇
Not only will this cut down on how much you could end up spending on Black Friday, but it also gets your kids thinking about what they would really want and in turn, will also create a greater feeling of appreciation for that item.
2. Ask questions❓
How often will I use or wear this? Do I need this? Where did this come from? What impact has it had on the environment? Asking yourself and getting your kids to ask questions like these before purchasing creates greater awareness of what impact your purchase will have on the environment, which helps in determining whether you should or shouldn’t buy something.
3. Use Black Friday deals to get prepared for Christmas 🎅🏼🤶🏼
If you know you’re going to buy presents for Christmas, you can use Black Friday as an opportunity to get your loved ones their Christmas presents early. It can be a good way to save money and to make sure you avoid the Christmas rush.
Just be mindful of when you’re buying gifts for someone. Similar to the above, make sure you’re asking questions like: Will they use this often? Do they need this? What impact will this purchase make on the environment? Asking questions like this prior to purchase decreases the likelihood of waste and increases the likelihood they’ll love their gift… a win win!
4. Use technology to stay accountable 📱
Have an app that tracks your spending, so when that moment of purchase temptation creeps up, you can quickly check your phone and decide whether that purchase is going to bring you closer to or push you further away from what you really want to achieve.
For kids, they can easily do this through the RoosterMoney App and through the Rooster Card. The Goals Pot is particularly great for your kids to add items they want to buy and save up for over time. This way they get a visual representation of their savings progress and it helps them consider whether their one-off purchases are worth it (compared to saving up for the item they really want).
Overall, Black Friday can be a lot of fun and can be a great way to save money but it’s also one of many opportunities to talk to your kids about money and start creating new habits. If you have any other suggestions, please do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to learn from you! 😊