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Budget

Why I Love Peoples’ Post-Black Friday Stupidity


Ahh Black Friday! I know it was about 1.5 weeks ago now (although I’m still getting tons of sale emails and ads every darn day), but I just realized that Black Friday has longer-reaching financial implications than some people realize.

I’m not just talking about how long it will take you to pay off your credit card if you overspent on Black Friday, although that might be the case for many Americans, but instead I’m talking about how those of us on the other side can actually take advantage of post-Black Friday madness.

Yep, that’s right! As much as everyone in the personal finance world loves to hate on Black Friday, I’ve recently realized that it can have some serious benefits too (if you’re smart about it).

After the average American has gone and overspent their budget on TVs, exercise equipment for their New Year’s resolution to lose 15 lbs, and more, we on the other side of the equation can take advantage of their haste and overspending.

How? I’m glad you asked.

You see, a few years ago I too got caught up in the craziness that is Black Friday. I ended up putting about $350 worth of stuff on my credit card. Sure it could have been worse, but the bad part about it was that absolutely nothing out of that $350 was for Christmas gifts for others, nor was any of it something I truly needed. Instead I spent $350 on a television and a few other electronic gadgets that I felt I “had to have” for my house.

Luckily, I am still using them to this day, but that still doesn’t mean I should have spent that much money. I did learn from my mistake, but many people don’t. Instead they continue to go out and spend $350 (or more) each year on electronic gadgets and stuff to replace what they bought at Black Friday the year before.

That’s where those of us who don’t shop on Black Friday can take advantage of their stupidity.

In the past few days since the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend has concluded, there has a been a huge influx of used items for sale in my local Facebook Trade/Sell/Buy group. There have been pots and pans, exercise equipment, appliances, TVs, and lots of other stuff that people are trying to sell to make room (and get a little money back) for their new Black Friday purchases.

I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping this year, unless you count the $4 dog bed I bought for my pets, but I did do some post-Black Friday shopping.

One of my goals is to take better care of myself and my health. To help myself stay on track and stay accountable, I bought a used FitBit tracker and I’ve been going on walks nearly everyday with my cousin. On the days that we have bed weather, which has happened quite a bit lately thanks to a big snow and ice storm, I haven’t been doing very well getting my steps in. Thus I started watching for a used treadmill or elliptical that I could use at home on the days that I can’t go outside for a walk.

Now that we’re post-Black Friday, there has been a huge increase in used treadmills and ellipticals for sale in my local Facebook Trade/Sell/Buy group. I had my pick of them and I ended up getting one in like new condition from a family friend for only $50!

I have also been having trouble with my washing machine for the past few months and I have put nearly $150 into parts to try and fix it. (We DIY-ed it because my dad is very handy, so I didn’t have to pay for labor, thank God!) Finally this past week I gave up and decided it was time to buy a new/different washer. I was determined that I wasn’t going to make the mistake of buying a used washer again, but when I saw the price tags of the new ones at the store I just couldn’t do it.

Then I saw someone post a washer and dryer set in the Facebook group for only $100! They were local people that I knew well and they are very honest. They also guaranteed that the set still worked. So I bought them for $100 and with the help of my dad and brother, we got them installed last night. I also treated them to supper for $25, so my total investment into this working washing machine (I didn’t need the dryer, but they wouldn’t sell just the washer) was $125, plus I plan on re-selling the dryer to re-coup a little bit of the money.

Honestly, I think both of these great deals can be attributed to people buying new stuff and “upgrading” on Black Friday. I never thought I’d be thankful for Black Friday, but this year I am!

Thanks Black Friday!

Have you ever taken advantage of people’s stupidity and desperation to off-load their stuff after they’ve spent too much money on Black Friday? How did it turn out?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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