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If you have followed this blog, you will know that we have been working on becoming debt-free as a family. As such, I often post about frugal living and personal finance. As someone who likes to shop a lot in the past, I often struggle with my desires whenever there are sales during holidays. That still happens even though I now advocate for intentional living. However, this past weekend has been challenging due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. As such, I am prompted to share my Black Friday purchases and reflections on them. I hope this article resonates with you and that you will find value in reading it as you also pursue finding joy with less.
Yes, I bought some stuff this weekend to avail the Black Friday deals.
No, I do not have negative feelings toward Black Friday sales or other holiday sales. And I do not judge other people who like to do so.
Items I purchased during the Black Friday weekend.
Honestly, we didn’t need the items we bought this weekend. But we love them! I recently wrote a post about balancing debt payments and daily spending. I also outlined some guiding principles I use whenever I am tempted to spend money. You can check that out to help you find the intersection between enjoying life and paying off debt.
Without further ado, here are some things I spent on for myself and my family.
- Blinkist – As a lover of books and learning, I checked out the $25 deal for the year with Blinkist Premium. It is $99.99/year regularly, so with 75% off, I am taking advantage of it. They have the subscription on sale until November 30. I used to set up free trials using all our email accounts so that I could use this service. Blinkist is an app that gives you around 15-20 minute summaries and key points of non-fiction books that you can read or listen to even during your short breaks. As a parent, I now find it harder to read books than before, so before spending my time or money buying a book, I want to make sure that it piques my interest. Blinkist lets me do just that so I can save precious reading time for books worth my time.
- Wireless earbuds for my husband and mother-in-law – I got Skullcandy Dime True Wireless In-ear earbuds for $37.92 for both pairs from Amazon because of my $15 credit. Mimi likes to watch Youtube videos while watching my little one while I work, and she can also use it while video chatting with our families abroad. My husband also likes listening to music, so I got him a pair too.
- We availed of the Black Friday deal from Virgin Mobile to purchase my teenage daughter’s phone because her old one isn’t working anymore.
- Lastly, I bought my toddler a cute little tea party toy set which isn’t on sale from Marshalls. This was the first actual toy that I bought for her this year that was brand new. She loved it so much. It was worth it.
Items I was tempted to buy during Black Friday!
As our basement renovation has finally been completed, filling it with furniture and appliances is tempting. Still, we decided to hold off on buying for now. We still need to clean up after the renovations and declutter some more so we can intentionally plan what we want to do there.
While looking for phone deals for my daughter, I was also tempted to upgrade my phone. Because Virgin Mobile offered a plan and a phone for only ten dollars more than I currently pay for more data. But I don’t need a big data plan because I work from home, and my iPhone XS is still working; so much as I wanted to grab that offer, I controlled myself. Lol.
I also found myself browsing again and again for an iPad. What do I want to do with an Ipad? I like the idea of writing with a smart pen, journalling digitally. I kept telling myself that I would be more productive if I had my organizer/planner online. So, over the weekend, I scrolled up and down the pages of Costco, Best Buy, and Apple, adding iPad to my cart and all of its fancy accessories. I justified it by telling myself that since I will be launching a podcast soon, I will need this iPad to do my recordings and maybe videos.
My reflections on Black Friday and my desires
The past few weeks have been hectic for me. I was studying for another licensing exam (work-related) which I was able to pass even though I was only sure about half of my answers. Thank God! So my thoughts after learning my results were to celebrate and reward myself. And what perfect timing with the Black Friday deals to reward me. This thinking led me to believe I should buy an iPad even though I don’t have the money for it.
But what stopped me from purchasing that iPad even though Apple was offering a monthly plan?
"I have the right to do anything," you say—but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything,"—but I will not be mastered by anything. - 1 Corinthians 6:12
The fact that I am looking at the monthly options reminded me that I have no means to pay it in full. It also made me evaluate how this will affect our goal of being debt-free soon. And if I am being honest, everything that I want to do with that iPad, I can do with all the tools I already have that I am not even maximizing. I have several paper journals that I will still need to be consistently using. I can record a podcast using my phone, just like my trailer.
I realized that all of my desires were still the same as before. I love the thrill of being able to purchase stuff with my hard-earned money. I occasionally desire a luxurious lifestyle, and nothing is wrong with that. These are common cravings in humans. We are naturally inclined to want more and more.
Consumerism fuels our innate human desires, and admitting this is the first step to leaning toward someone who gives us wisdom. When confronted with big spending decisions, God allows us to see the bigger picture. I am reminded that I have a goal and that He wants the best for me. What’s different now is that I take a step back when I get so excited and think about all the things I am currently blessed with that I still need to enjoy. On my own, I would’ve mindlessly put all those items in my cart and worried about the debt later. But I gain self-control and self-discipline, knowing my God will help me overcome my emotional spending triggers. He will give me something better soon so I can give more of myself to the people I love.