Wednesday, November 21, 2007

10 Non-Shopping Things to Do On Black Friday

Forget the hype and have fun on Black Friday, a national post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday. Here's my list of non-shopping, fun & frugal stuff to do instead of shopping.

1. Get more rest! Given my levels of sleep deprivation, it's crazy to get up at 4 am or 5 am to shop and save money. If I get more sleep, I'll think better. I typically wake up around 6:45 am and go to sleep around 1 am. But sleep deprivation is a dumb idea because I work smarter, save more money and work more creatively with more sleep.

And hint, when I go to those so-called holiday sales, I'm not really saving money. Maybe you save, but for me, it's all a lie I tell myself about spending & shopping. It's Enron accounting for consumers. It's self-deception. I tell myself: I'm not spending money, I'm saving money. Ha!

2. Exercise: Of course, I walk a lot when I go shopping and yes, those packages involve heavy lifting. But let's be honest. Walking through the aisles of a super big box store and jogging with a cart is not the best form of exercise. It's better for me to go on a real walk with my kids or my dog. Other alternatives: yoga, a quick run, kick-boxing or jazzercize will burn calories without burning bucks. Even washing the car or washing windows is exercise.

3. Read a book about money. Instead of spending money, I can learn about how to make money.

4. Memorize a poem. Memorizing a poem is good for the brain and the soul. Right now I'm trying to memorize two poems from E.E. Cummings called Let It Go and Somewhere I have Never Traveled.

5. Write letters to old friends, siblings, parents and other loved ones. There are a few people that I would really like to write to now. I'd tell them how much they have meant to me and how much they have added to my life and how much I will always love them. It's unconditional.

6. Open a savings account. Instead of shopping, I could open a new savings account at a bank or a credit union. I could go through the store flyers and calculate how much I might spend and then put that money in the bank.

7. Spend a day at a homeless shelter or do some other act of kindness: Not too long ago, I had a ten dollar bill in my hand. Quite frankly, I was going to buy stupid stuff: maybe a muffin and a magazine. Honestly, it was one of my non-frugal splurge moments. And then I saw this homeless woman named Marie. She's a little bit younger than me and she makes me think about how wonderful my life is and how difficult her life is.

So I just gave her the $10 bill. It was not really an act of generosity because giving made me feel better about the money that I've wasted in the past. I'm not rich; I'm struggling to pay bills, but I have so much more than maybe 90 percent of the people in this world. So I can afford to give away more. And that's how I really feel about recreational shopping. There are really, really better uses of my time and money.

8. Organize my paper piles: I'm a clutter queen, for sure. I could save money and earn more if I were better organized. There's gold buried in my paper piles. So, I plant to clean out my big purse on Black Friday.

9. Meditate. Seriously, I run around like a cartoon character. I often spin my wheels and get nowhere. I could do more if I spent more time breathing and acting mindfully. I really think clearer after meditating and deeply breathing.

10. Make a gift for someone. My mom has been making pottery gifts for her holiday gift list. It's great therapy for her hands and she's really enjoying the process.

Happy Thanksgiving!


The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store

Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection


an9ie said...

Thanks so much for posting the links to those poems, Sharon. I read "Let it go" and it really spoke to me. What great timing the universe has.

Thank you, and have a lovely day.

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Thanks an9ie:

Both of those poems, especially "Let it go" also speak to me.

I hope you have a wonderful day also.
Thanks for your comment.

Marcus Aurelius said...

How about work & earn money?

My last two clients are open for business on Black Friday. My previous client was a retailer and of course they expected their IT staff in on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Thanks Marcus:

Earning money on Black Friday is a great idea.

I appreciate the comment.

Justin Hughes said...

Hey, here's a list of things I had fun doing on Black Friday.

Heh... I'm not much for poetry.

dong said...

Black Friday is definitely not for me. While I realize there are some great deals, there's nothing I want to less than compete with throngs of shoppers. After a big meal the night before, I go with option 1) get more rest!

Andy said...

Spot on with this post. I stayed away from black friday shopping, unfortunately the retailers have become too smart and are now offering great deals online! I ended up buying a new HD-DVD player. However I shopped around and got a great price for an item I really wanted.

Also one more thing you can do...spend some time reading other pf bloggers!


Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey Justin:
I loved your post. Great Black Humor about Black Friday.
This was my favorite from your list:

"Go everywhere in complete URGENCY! Everyone else is doing it. Scale you "importance" by your body language. Ranging from an "ahem..." to a basket-to-basket slam. Don't be afraid to be physical. The chaotic environment allow for an unusual amount disregard for social notions. Also, wear an expression on your face that says "I hear babies on fire". If you look like where you are going is important, most folks will let a firm push slide."


thanks for stopping by!

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey Dong:

I took your advice and got more rest on Black Friday.

I collected a lot of ZZZZs.

Take care and thanks for writing.

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey Andy:

I'm glad that you had a great time shopping online.

I've heard that Cyber Monday is also a big shopping day.

Thanks so much for the tip!
Take care and have a great day.