Friday, November 29, 2013

If you need it, buy it; if you can’t afford it, WAIT FOR IT!

Today’s topic for the 40 Days of Blogging is avarice, which is the love of money. I guess the topics fits well with Black Friday. Today is “Black Friday” which was originally designated because it represented the day on which most retails stores FINALLY were in the black for the year. The holiday sales continues to be the “make-it-or-break-it” for most retails centers.

I’m not a big fan of “Black Friday” madness, especially with the many riots and chaos lately at area malls. Having said that I won’t begrudge someone for taking advantage of a sale price for an item that he needs.  I’ve already blogged about my feelings on Thanksgiving Day shopping and on rushing out to buy more stuff the day after we are supposedly thankful for the stuff we already have. So, today I won’t beat that bush. Rather I will presume you already have made up your mind to shop today. That probably also means you will be reading this AFTER you return from a long day of shopping.

For me the issue isn’t whether or not we can get a good price on something, but whether or not we need the item in the first place. I’m sure most would agree that the Christmas frenzy has achieved irrational levels lately. I remember a day (that expression makes me feel old) when getting new socks, a pair of pants, a couple of shirts, and new pair of shoes make the bulk of our gifts, along with a few toys. We needed the clothes as children. Our parents took advantage of Christmas to “bulk up” our present count by wrapping each item separately. NOW, parents wrap countless toys and throw in a token article of clothing. Long before our children return to school in the New Year, the new toys are either already broken, lost, or they have grown bored of playing and go digging for last year’s toy.

So this year, go ahead and take advantage of store sales – they’re there for a reason – and find the best sale on the items you NEED. That new pair of shoes your son has needed since soccer season ended; those new socks to replace the hole”y” socks your daughter wore out at gymnastics practice. Put them away and wrap them up for Christmas. Then sit back and take inventory of your finances before going back “out there” to the mall. What else does your family REALLY need this year? Don’t allow the sales to talk you into purchasing something just because it’s a good deal. A good deal is no longer a good deal when it sits abandoned in the corner collecting dust.

I want to add one more thing about Christmas shopping. Americans are more in debt now than ever before. It seems we cannot discern the difference between needs and wants. If anything, I think it shows a society that has grown more and more impatient. We would rather pay HUGE amounts of credit card interest than wait a few months to purchase our stuff. That is where a simple dose of fasting would help, by the way. It would help us learn to do without and tame our urges. I’ve written on fasting and its benefits to cure just this very problem before.

So I invite you to adopt a new slogan this Christmas shopping season…
“If you need it, buy it; if you can’t afford it, WAIT FOR IT!” You’ll be much happier, and a much less in debt. You can thank me later.

This post is written for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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