Finances & Money

Black Friday and Buying Out of Budget

The madness is on. All you’re hearing about this week is Black Friday and the deals that can be had. You know that laptop you want. Well, it can be had for $300 off. Or you can upgrade to the better model for the same price as the one you wanted.

That plasma/LCD TV you’ve yearned for this past year. Well, it can be had for $600! So why shouldn’t you go out this week and buy all that stuff you’ve wanted? You’re getting a major deal, right?

The answer here is simple:

If the purchase is in your budget, and you’ve been saving specifically for it, and the sale price is within WHAT YOU’VE SAVED SO FAR, then go ahead and buy it.

Otherwise, if you still can’t afford it in your budget, then it’s not time to buy it.

Here’s a personal example. I’ve been wanting a new laptop since my Sony Vaio (that I got for $100) has been wearing down. It still runs great, but the exterior is really run-down. I’ve been justifying the idea of a new laptop with the extra money my site brings in, but Stacie keeps bringing up a good argument.

I just don’t need it. I hate her for this, but she’s right (for now). My laptop works perfectly fine. Just because I can get a great deal on a shiny new laptop (and my employer pays for about $350 of it) doesn’t mean I NEED to get a new laptop.

The same goes for a new flatscreen TV. I WANT a new TV, and I can get a great deal this weekend on a new one, but we don’t NEED a new TV. Honestly, I’ve been complaining about how I want to watch less TV, not more! However, Super Mario Galaxy on a 50″ plasma would look really amazing.

For us, our goals are to get out of debt, not buy more stuff. When we get out of debt, then we can change our goals and begin saving towards paying cash for those luxuries we had to do without for years (not counting the MINI Cooper). Until then, we’ll be avoiding the malls, and online stores, this week until our goals and budget allows for an upgrade in any part of our lifestyle.

Until then, we’re in maintenance mode. We’re just maintaining the things we have, scaling back when needed, and treating ourselves with small things like chocolate or a new Wii game every few months.

So when you see that ad circular come out with all these great “savings” off things you want or think you want, think further about what is valuable to you right now. Could your money do more for you in savings or an investment than sitting in an entertainment system when you have something perfectly suitable? Maybe start saving NOW for something NEXT Black Friday. Then, you’ll get a great deal on even more advanced technology (or for you Single Ma, better boots or jacket) and you’ll be able to pay CASH for it.

I know, the temptation is hard. The body is willing, the mind is weak, and the credit card is so powerful.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I completely agree with you. I did see a laptop at an incredible price, but it’s not in my budget. When I was honest with myself, I don’t need it either. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Great post. It seems like EVERYONE I know has a shiny new flat screen TV, but I’m still watching my old 32″ ginormous TV and I’m okay with that. The TV works, it was a nice TV when it was new, and I want to get out of debt more than I want a shiny new flat screen.

  • Great points. I’m not going out this year….and I’m going to try hard to stay off the computer for the online deals.

    If you pay for a new flat screen TV with a credit card, you won’t be getting such a great deal when you add up all the interest payments.

  • Amen. This year I decided to tell people just not to buy me anything, just get me a card. I can afford everything that I want, and if I want something, I’ll just buy it my self. I probably won’t be buying presents for anyone out side my immediate family and my girlfriend, so that’s a good way to minimize the cost of Christmas.

  • FiP: I don’t mind hand-made gifts or low-cost gifts when I know they spent time trying to pick the right gift for me. I don’t want someone feeling obligated to buy me something just because it’s the holidays. A card is fine, a hug is fine, anything is fine.

  • I’ve always loathed the idea of Black Friday. Exactly as you say in the article, just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you can afford it, and just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need it.

    Maybe, if there was something that I actually needed, I would think about going out and getting it on Black Friday to save some money (but how many of us really need a 50″ plasma HDTV?).

    – Brandon

  • Good points C.D. I will be avoiding black friday as well. But I may have to browse ebay next week and do some Christmas shopping as I have noticed you can score some good deals from people that use Black friday as a way to get stuff on the cheap then turn around and sell it on ebay for profit. Could use a TomTom GPS, but not willing to get in line at BestBuy at 2 in the morning!!

  • One thing to note is alot of the electronic deals become regular price after Christmas. That’s my observation at least. For example instead of thinking you “have to ” buy that plasma now at the low price and incur a credit card debt for example, you could wait until Jan and buy it probably for the same price with less carried debt.

  • Thank you for being the little man on my shoulder… the one with the halo, that is. I don’t NEED anything. It IS a good time to start saving for next Black Friday. One more year of minimal gifts won’t kill me. Plus I’ll be much better off in the long run. Good call!

  • […] Clever Dude – Black Friday and Buying Out of Budget […]

  • I completely agree. I use Balck Friday to get deals on things I was going to buy anyway or things I need, not just want. So no flat screen TV for me, either!

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