It might be the biggest shopping day of the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to get caught up in a mad rush. You can bag a bargain, put off shopping for a few days, or just buy nothing at all. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to teach your kids a few financial lessons along the way.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day immediately after US Thanksgiving (27 November in 2020), when many Americans begin their Christmas shopping. The term, which has been in use since the second half of the 20th century, has been widely adopted more recently by shoppers and store owners across the world, with many outlets offering deep discounts on this day, in an attempt to lure in customers. Are you tempted? Maybe take a few things into consideration first of all.
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. 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? Considering all this prior to purchase decreases the likelihood of waste and increases the likelihood they’ll love their gift.
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. 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).
Don’t worry if you miss Black Friday
The first day of the week after Black Friday is known as Cyber Monday. That’s when many online retailers pull in plenty of sales, and often offer discounts similar to those found in-store on Black Friday. Sit tight, and you could still bag a bargain, from the comfort of your own home.
Maybe try buying nothing at all!
Instead of getting wrapped up in the hype and buying as much as possible on Black Friday, there’s a counter-movement to do the exact opposite and buy absolutely nothing. ‘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.
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:
… yourself (and your kids, if they’re using email) from any newsletters that are likely to send out lots of discounts to your favorite stores. We recommend proactively unsubscribing from these newsletters a week before Black Friday to avoid extreme temptation.
Challenge 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 on ‘Talking to Kids About Needs and Wants.’
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.
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!