Navigating Black Friday As A Minimalist

4 tips to help you enjoy this overly commercial day.

It’s that time of year, the holidays are upon us and it truly is such a magical time of the year.

It can, however, also be filled with a lot of excess and a lot of anxiety over what to buy, how much to buy, and who to buy for.

It’s been said that in 2017 Americans spent a record $7.9 billion on this day. Five years ago I was part of that number.

From as early as I can remember, Black Friday shopping was a tradition for me and my mom. We would wake up at 3am and start our day of shopping, only breaking for a caffeine recharge.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the advertisements and think we need all the things. With last year being my first year dedicated to minimalism, I became much more aware of the email blasts promoting sales and deals that you “Can’t miss!”

It all became a bit overwhelming for me as I tried to avoid the unintentional shopping and stick to my plan of avoiding excess; so I had to do something. I came up with a few tips to avoid the temptation of over-shopping on Black Friday and it did wonders.

Here are a few things I did last year to help with my Black Friday minimalist shopping:

1. Unsubscribe

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving the emails start rolling in at a pretty quick rate. As the emails from brands ended up in my inbox I started unsubscribing. This not only helped with my Black Friday shopping but my shopping in general.

Without the daily reminders of things I COULD be buying, it helped me to evaluate the things I SHOULD be buying.

Also, a few slow fashion brands unsubscribe from the Black Friday idea altogether. Last year, brands like Elizabeth Suzann and Jamie + the Jones posted on Instagram with their reasoning for not participating in the day.

With their missions being rooted in quality over quantity I saw many brands say that they wanted to stay true to their mission and not promote mass consumption.

2. Make A Wishlist

Throughout the year, I make a monthly and yearly wishlist for things that I think I want to purchase. This helps me to stay on track and think twice before buying impulsively.

It also helps for me to evaluate if there are deals on Black Friday that would actually be beneficial to me.

If something is on sale and you were already going to buy it, of course it’s a good deal. There’s no shame in saving money!

For the holidays, I also create another list for gifts that I want to buy for certain people. I tend to get really excited about buying for others and can go a little overboard.

The lists really help me to stay focused on what I’ve already decided on and helps me to avoid being influenced every time I walk into a store or see something online that looks cool.

3. Create A Budget

This one was a game changer for me.

Growing up, my mom was all about Christmas. We made birthdays special too, but Christmas, oh man, there was nothing like it.

The gifts were never contained to just underneath the tree and before you knew it, the living room had been overtaken by mountains of gifts. Christmas was the one time of year that you could buy anything and everything.

I took this reasoning with me into adulthood and year after year, this led to purchases that were impulsive and things that would be forgotten about in just a few months, if not less.

So after beginning my minimalism journey I knew this would be an area that I had to work on. It hasn’t been easy, but finding ways to limit and hold myself accountable has been incredibly helpful.

Before Black Friday, I make a list of the people I’m buying for. I then create two different budgets. I create an overall budget and then I break it down to how much I’m going to spend per person.

Creating these budgets has helped me to prioritize things I want to buy for people and become more intentional with my gifts. Much like the wishlist, having my budget created before Black Friday helps me to recognize if something is on sale that I was already going to buy!

4. Have Fun!

For many (myself included), Black Friday has been the marker for the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a time full of so much joy, love, and giving and I really try to hold onto that.

So whether you need to take a step back and skip gift giving this year or maybe you decide on DIY gifts instead, make this season your own!

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