I don’t know about you, but I am getting kind of tired of watching the news and seeing consumer segments encouraging us to shop just because there are some deals out there. Between the Christmas season starting in mid-November, Black Friday, Black Monday, Black Friday 2 and now these “pundits” still trying to get us to part with our hard-earned money, I am a little burnt out on the “buy this stuff because it is on sale” mantra. If you don’t need something, it doesn’t matter how much it costs – you don’t need to spend the money for it!
Too many people fall for the “gee, that TV is on sale for 10% less than it ever was before – we should go get one before they are all gone” routine…even if they don’t need said TV. If you or your family does not need whatever a store is selling, it is not a bargain – it is an expense. An expense that could reduce the amount of money you have to spend (or even save) on something important. Would you go buy a new car just because it was on sale? The higher the price tag the more difficult it becomes to rationalize the purchase – but those smaller amounts add up.
Retailers have it hard this season, but I don’t feel that bad for them – I mean, do we really need multiple upon multiple versions of the same store, sitting in the same mall, in every city around the country? Same stores, different names. Best Buy and Circuit City. Bed Bath and Beyond & Linens and Things. Add in the department stores and local stores that sell the same items, and it’s really no wonder that some of these stores are going to go under in 2009 – our insipid shopping habits for the last X amount of years is coming back to haunt both us and the stores themselves. We were able to support all of them at once because we just could not stop shopping, but now many people are unable to keep up with that behavior – there is less money for “extra” things. But that doesn’t stop everyone, obviously, as we are continually being marketed to about how these “sales” are going to save us a ton of money. And sure, they might… but only if you need what you are buying. This is not the time to be buying just for the sake of buying, but rather the time to have an emergency fund, to pay off existing debts, and to watch your money closely. This economy won’t allow for big mistakes, as you could find yourself unemployed or with an empty bank account at any time. Don’t let shopping for bargains be your downfall – buy what you need when you need it, and try to avoid being sucked into the “sale” mentality. If you don’t need it, it’s not a bargain at all.
Have you found yourself falling for this ruse? I know I did when I saw a TV on sale for what seemed like mere pennies. But then I remembered that the TV we have works fine, and I definitely didn’t need a new one!