Why I Won’t Be Going Shopping on Black Friday…Ever

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Black Friday is soon - will you be shopping? I believe it has overshadowed Thanksgiving. Here are some reasons why I hate the day and won't be shopping.

The air is getting crisper, the leaves are changing to beautiful hues of red and gold, and pumpkins adorn neighborhood doorsteps. Soon, to add to this delightful ambiance of spiced lattes and cute puffer vests, large, unwieldily holiday crowds on Black Friday will stampede through the malls reeking havoc on all.

These shoppers, heralded for their skills including standing in long lines in the freezing rain and leaping over boxes in the aisles to get ahead, treat Black Friday as more important than Thanksgiving just to have their chance at $50 off a large TV that they likely can’t afford to begin with.

In case I wasn’t clear in the previous paragraph, I’m not a fan of this day. Whether it’s to save money on Christmas shopping, to enjoy the thill of getting an awesome deal or pure Thanksgiving tradition, there are many people who love to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I’m just not one of them. Here’s why I haven’t gone Black Friday shopping since college and why I refuse to go ever again in the future.

It’s Literally Killing People


Did you know that seven people have died in Black Friday related incidents over the past few years? Let me repeat: People. Have. Died. I mean really; is $10 off that toaster worth your life?

A few years ago, a Wal-Mart employee who was 34 years old was literally trampled to death by the crowds. People started lining up as early as 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to get their deals and by the time the store opened in the morning the crowd was up to over 1,000 people. I don’t go to Wal-Mart on a normal day to buy a toothbrush, let alone stand in a crows that big scrambling to get the best deals on cheap plastic nothingness.

It’s Ruining Thanksgiving


In the last year or two, stores have started to open on the evening of Thanksgiving Day. What happened to family time, football games, or just sitting on the couch because you’re in a turkey coma?

According to this site, a whole list of stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day this year, including Target, Wal-Mart, and JCPenney, but others are committed to keeping the holiday family friendly, like Nordstroms and Barnes and Noble.

We get so little time with our family and friends these days. It seems that people rarely use their full two weeks of vacation, and we’re all always on our phones, computers, and tablets. Thanksgiving is a time to turn all of that off, focus on breaking bread and sharing food and contemplating the many blessings in our lives. If people are waiting on the edge of their seats for the Thanksgiving meal to be over so they can hurry up and get to the mall, the entire reason for the holiday is essentially null and void.

The Deals Aren’t That Great Anyway


There have been many articles over the past few years by USA Today and the Wall Street Journal stating that the “deals” that come with Black Friday are a myth. In fact, for many types of products, it can be better to purchase at the beginning of the month or the day before Thanksgiving versus the day after.

The Wall Street Journal even tracked a few specific items like a TV and a men’s Citizen watch and found cheaper prices during other times of the year. So, if you want a particular item that is expensive, the best thing you can do is to actually look up data to find the best price for that item throughout the year. You might be surprised to find that it’s cheaper to buy it in March than November.

Black Friday is soon - will you be shopping? I believe it has overshadowed Thanksgiving. Here are some reasons why I hate the day and won't be shopping.

I Prefer Minimalism


Over the past few years I’ve been trying to acquire less and less stuff. I just feel better when my house is clutter free. It’s hard to be a minimalist when you have children, but by sticking to the four gift rule at Christmas and limiting the amount of things I buy throughout the year, I’ve found that I’m calmer and happier in my own home.

Black Friday goes against all the principles of minimalism. The idea is to get as much stuff as possible for as cheap as possible. For those reasons, I’m fundamentally against the day and don’t plan on taking part in the Black Friday festivities any time soon.


Will you be shopping on Black Friday? Do you think the advertised deals are worth all the hype? What kind of an approach do you take to Christmas shopping?

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • Chuck says:

    I was really excited to see REI set and example this year and close for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Hopefully more companies will start to follow.


  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe says:

    Also not a Black Friday fan. Definitely not a fan of shopping on Thanksgiving day, when I just feel sorry for the poor retail folks who don’t get to stay home with their families on my favorite holiday. ( I understand the need for some public safety and healthcare workers to be on the job, but I feel sorry for them too).

    I’m a southern girl. I remember when stores weren’t open on Sundays, much less Thanksgiving. It’s too bad we can’t take a few more breaks from shopping.

  • Hannah says:

    As much backlash as there is against stores opening up on Thanksgiving Day, it boosts sales (and profitable sales at that).

    I don’t partake in the festivities, but I’m one of the people that ruins Thanksgiving for everyone else.

  • Kalie @ Pretend to Poor says:

    I’m absolutely with you on this, Cat. Sometimes I snag a few deals on Cyber Monday, often on boring things we need like men’s shoes and clothes for work. Last year my family proposed a thrift store Christmas and everyone was just as happy with the useful, thoughtful second-hand finds.

  • Money Beagle says:

    It’s definitely gotten out of control, and I’ve also heard that the deals just aren’t as great as they used to be when Black Friday first started becoming a ‘thing’. The first 100 items they sell might be a great deal, but the next 10,000 aren’t so great, and guess what side you have a better chance of landing on?

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    I used to work for a large retail electronics store when I was in college and I know for sure that Black Friday is such a rip. Each store only puts up a few “crazy deals” and they are always limited by amount so unless you risk being trampled to death, you are going to pay either pay the same as everyone else or more. We have embraced minimalism over the last few years and really enjoy it. Now that Will knows who Santa is, we discussed the four gift strategy for him and he’s totally on board. It really makes the holiday more enjoyable when you focus less on the stuff and more on the people/experiences.

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve never bought anything on Black Friday and I don’t see that changing. There’s just WAY too many people out and it doesn’t seem like fun at all.

  • Robin McDaniel says:

    A few years ago, I reminded myself why I hate Black Friday after going with a friend in the middle of the night, and I vowed never to do it again. You’re not getting deals, you’re just spending more money!

  • James @ Personal Finance Genius says:

    I’ve never really understood Black Friday. It’s always seemed strange to me that we, as a culture, will get up super early (or not go to sleep at all) just so we can go shopping. Imagine coming from another country and seeing this strange phenomenon.

    I used to work retail and while I won’t mention the name, we did raise prices slowly but surely throughout September, October, and November. So the deals really AREN’T that good.

    … not worth getting trampled for, that is. 🙂

  • Paul @SavingFreak says:

    I am going to buck the trend here and say that I really like Black Friday. I will say that I am very strategic in what items I purchase and which stores I visit, but I do get very good deals. The key is knowing your prices and which store locations yield the least resistance.

    With online shopping and stores opening at different times it is actually easier to shop on Black Friday than it has been in the past. On top of that, the stores have are letting people in early where they can walk around and check out the deals. That way, there are no runs on the store that get people hurt or killed.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach says:

    Never have and never will. Well, actually one year I kind of got forced into going with my boyfriend at the time’s mom and sister. It was just painful. But I don’t enjoy shopping on any day, so there ya go! 🙂 I just think people go overboard for Christmas in general.

    • Cat says:

      They totally do. I pretty much do all my shopping online. Going to the mall takes too much energy and it’s always so packed. #scrooge 😉

  • Nicole says:

    I’ve never shopped on Black Friday for all the reasons you listed. I hate crowds and don’t feel the deals are worth the aggravation. I’ve been lucky to find most gifts online.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I definitely have gone out on Black Friday before (I believe I did last year for a specific deal at Best Buy), but one thing that irks me is people who think that shopping online on Black Friday is materially different than physically going to the store. It’s still spending money! It’s still shopping! You aren’t doing something incredible by shopping online instead of going to the store.

  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I’d rather go shop during Thanksgiving, Cat. Or find other time as I don’t want to shop in crowded places. Nice info on casualty that seven people died because of this. 🙁

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