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It's that time of year again. The time of year where we celebrate three holidays in a little over 5 weeks from November 24th until January 1st. Every business is out to get our hard earned money before the year ends. They use great marketing strategies to push their "Black Friday" deals. They talk about all the money you will save, but seem to leave off all the money you will spend.
So, what's the history behind "Black Friday?"
- The shopping sense dates from the 1960s and was originally used with reference to congestion created by shoppers; it was later explained as a day when retailers’ accounts went from being “in the red” to “in the black” (from oxforddictionaries.com)
A retailer or store owner goes from "in the red (negative)" to "in the black (positive)," because so many people are spending loads of money on their Christmas shopping. If the retailers go from negative to positive, how many consumers keep their bank accounts in the black after their "Black Friday" shopping excursions or does their bank account fall to red after all the frivolous spending?
In honor of these pesky ads that get us consumers to the stores in droves, I am going to list some of the best advertising ploys that have hit my inbox during this holiday season.
Number 1: Black Friday Starts Now....Ready. Set. Save.
I got this great advertisement from Target. An ad talking about saving, but nothing about spending. In this great marketing ploy, they tell you that you must spend some money to save some money. Why can't I just spend ZERO money and save even more? You can!
Number 2: Thanksgiving Week Kickoff: Save 20% Tonight Only
This beauty came from Dick's Sporting Goods. The funny thing with this ad - - the deals end before "Black Friday" and the ploy is to make you feel like you MUST purchase TONIGHT....otherwise you will lose out on the 20% discount. Oh, the HORROR!
On a side note, they make 20% sound like such a great deal, but 20% off of $20 is only a $4 discount. I could easily save the $4 dollars that they are pushing by just not spending anything on their gimmicky sales.
Number 3: ENDS TOMORROW! 25% Off All Adidas Sale
I got this one from Huskers.com. Once again, the ploy of these adds is to make you jump at the discount, because they may not offer discounts like this in future. NEWSFLASH: They will eventually offer another 25% off or 30% off deal in the future.
Every year I restrict my purchases to one Husker shirt. If this shirt is a polo, it could cost close to $60. By jumping on this deal, I could save $15. That's not bad, however, I already purchased my Husker shirt for the year, meaning I would be spending $45 dollar more that I had planned on a Husker shirt. Luckily, I will save the $60 and wait until the next 25% off sale. They have them all the time.
Number 4: Members Private Night: Early Access to Black Friday Deals
Received this one from Sears. They also added the words FINAL HOURS. To entice your "I need it now" instinct. Before you make the purchase, ask yourself the following questions: "Would you make this purchase without the sale?" If the answer is 'no,' avoid the purchase and save 100% instead of just 20%.
Number 5: Pre-Thanksgiving Price Break: 20% off One Single Item
I received this one from Bed Bath & Beyond. This 20% off offer ends on 11/26/17, so you better rush in and spend your hard earned cash, on something meaningless. I could go on and on. The ads are all the same and they push a false sense of saving money.
Sadly, this article idea came to me after I had done an e-mail purge. There were some great advertisements enticing me to spend loads of money on random crap before the purge. Due to the fact that I ran out of ads from my inbox I will honor one of my most hated industries, "the new car industry," with a crazy marketing ploy from Lexus.
Number 6: Unleash Your Inner Child
This commercial (linked above) is from Lexus, where you see a brand new Lexus with a red bow on top. You also see a little kid (6 or 7) jumping around and celebrating his new car. The screen then shifts to this little kids wife and she asks, "Happy?" It pans back to the kid, but now he is a grown adult and he exclaims, "Whoooo!"
With this marketing ploy, Lexus is trying to make us feel like we should reward ourselves with something that we want. That we should unleash our inner child and be a little selfish. We deserve this new car and dang skippy I'm gonna celebrate!
In his book, "The Total Money Makeover", Dave Ramsey talked about the debt culture. There is a specific quote that has always stuck out to me, "I want it and I want it now!" He was talking about a four year old screaming on the floor of a grocery store, because their parents wouldn't let them have that one thing that they wanted.
Maybe we live in a culture where that four year old never grew up. The retailers that sell us the stuff want us to act like the impatient four year old. But what could happen if we started to act less like the four year old and more like adults? Dave stated in his book, "If you could just control the person in the mirror, then you could be skinny and rich." However, that means that you must control that "Inner Child!"
How can you control that inner child? Well it comes with a little patience. It's okay to wait for things. It's okay to save up money for your purchases. Interestingly, I have always felt like I do a bad job of explaining the simple way to save money by just not spending. Well, as I was finishing up proof reading this article, another article from Keep Thrifty fell into my inbox.
It's titled, "Patience is the Ultimate Passive Income." I was intrigued and read it immediately. It was an amazing article, because it is everything that I have been trying to portray about saving by not spending money (make sure to read it also). He goes into great detail and breaks down how patience can actually save you money. Specifically, I am going to quote a statement from Chris in that article that deserves to be repeated.
That statement is the reason that some of us decide to be patient. We have dreams that we want to accomplish, and purchasing random stuff on Black Friday or any other day does not help us attain our dreams. It actually hinders our dreams and slows down our progress.
For me, it doesn't make sense to head out and stand in the lines this Black Friday or any Black Friday in the future. I don't need anything that they are selling, and I don't have a list prepared. Therefore, if I ran off to the stores, I would be wandering aimlessly through the stores and I would buy something that I didn't plan on and waste that money.
I choose to be intentional with my purchases. I choose to have a plan to reach our financial goals.
What's important to you? Do you have dreams for your future? Do those dreams include the 'stuff' that you are purchasing this holiday season?