Hear me out, friend. I promise I’m not turning into a capitalist vampire.
I don’t know about you, but for the last week or so I haven’t been able to do anything online without coming across someone ranting about Black Friday, about how consumerism and capitalism are the marks of the beast, and we should all be focusing on conservation and conversation. One particular post caught my eye, and I felt I just had to respond.
The post in question asked whether it was okay for this person, a well-respected proponent of conservation and opposer of consumerism, to buy a particular item on the Black Friday sales. The item was something that they had been intending to buy for some time, possibly not an essential item, but certainly not a frivolous, luxury item either. It was something that they would get significant use out of. And I couldn’t think of a single reason, other than sheer stubborn “that’s the line and I’m not crossing it”, for the answer to be no.
So here’s my thinking:
I don’t believe that we should be bludgeoning each other in the aisles for a saving of 40c on a bulk pack of toilet paper. I don’t believe that we should be buying things we don’t need just because they’re 35% off. And I definitely don’t believe that anyone should be going into debt over Black Friday (or any other sale, or the holidays in general).
A saving is not a saving unless it’s something you actually need.
BUT if you were going to buy the thing anyway then why not get it at a reduced price? Why not take advantage?
I did. I bought Affinity Publisher at 30% off. It’s the software I used for the paperback formatting of Silk Flower Goodbye, as well as the print cover design. I intend to use it for all my of my book formatting and a lot of design projects in the future, and I was already saving up to buy it. I would have gotten it anyway so the 30% saving actually WAS a saving.
ProWritingAid, another tool I’ve had my eye on for some time, was also significantly reduced. I didn’t buy it though. I hadn’t planned to buy it this year. I hadn’t saved for it, or worked it into my budget. And even though I could afford it, it wouldn’t have been a saving because I’d still be spending more money than I had planned.
And just because I bought an item or two on the Black Friday sales doesn’t mean that I can’t ALSO donate my money and my time to “more worthy causes”. In fact, because I saved on things I would have bought anyway, I’ll be able to give a little more to my favourite charities these holidays, and I think that can be considered a win for everyone.
So, that’s my ramble about Black Friday. Where do you stand on it? Let me know in the comments, or find me on the socials, and whatever you’re doing today, remember to be kind to yourself and those around you.