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How to not totally lose your mind on Black Friday

How to not totally lose your mind on Black Friday

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A no-waste Black Friday shopping strategy.

A no-waste Black Friday shopping strategy.

How to not totally lose your mind on Black Friday
We all know the feeling. Black Friday ads have been following you around the internet for weeks. There’s something you really, really want. And now it’s 50% off. It’s such a big saving! So you click “add to cart”. You get a dopamine hit as you enter your credit card details and bam, it’s on its way to you.

But then a few minutes later, buyer’s remorse sets it. Did you really need it? Is it really saving money if you’re spending unnecessarily? Did you put it on your credit card and now you’re going to be charged interest? Will it end up basically costing full price? Cue all the bad feels.

So, what are we supposed to do with that depressing tale? Turn off our devices for the next week? Cut up our credit cards? Go back to bartering bananas for cows?

Don’t panic. Let’s find moderation. Set some ground rules for responsible spending so we can live a little without hurting the planet or our finances too much.

Do an audit of what you actually need

Take a look at the different areas of your life and think about things you will definitely need to buy in the near future anyway. Whatever it is: baby clothes, cleaning supplies, makeup… put it on a giant “I’ll be buying this anyway” list.

And then one of things you want

Look, I’m not about to condone buying a yacht on a whim. But if you want a new set of bed linen even though your current set is just a little stained and not totally worn out, then go for it. You’re absolutely allowed to have nice things. Living sustainably doesn’t mean never shopping. It means putting a bit of extra thought into what you buy – choosing locally made items that use ethically-sourced materials. Add a few “want” items to the list too.

Categorize your list

Is it obvious yet how much I love a list? It should be. Once you have everything you need, put them into categories. Maybe it’s home, beauty, kids, tech. I don’t know your life, you figure this part out.

Do a storage-space  & use audit

It may be tempting to buy everything now that it’s on sale, and it’s often more affordable to buy in bulk. But make sure you have space to store the items in your home, and that you’ll be able to use them before the end of their shelf life. Skincare, beauty and cleaning products all have a shelf life. I recently learned the hard way that expired sunscreen doesn’t work. That time in 2016 when I bought nine bottles of sunscreen really burnt me. Literally.

Assign a reasonable budget

You might want to do your budget per item or per category, or even both (I see you, A-type spreadsheet people) but the main thing is knowing how much you can reasonably afford to spend per item, and in total. Not everyone has the privilege of buying the things they need in cash, especially at this time of year, but do bear something in mind.

If you buy on credit and can’t fully pay it off before you are charged interest, the interest may pile up and you may end up spending more than you saved on Black Friday.

This is a story for another day and another person to write (I’m not a financial advisor) but it might be a good time to check what your credit card interest rate is and see if you can get a lower one. Back to Black Friday.

Choose your vendors

This is where the sustainability part really comes in. I refuse to shop at certain stores due to the way they treat their employees, their supply chain and the earth. Often these retailers are the cheapest option (exploiting people and our resources tends to be cheap) and sometimes they’re even the only place you can buy exactly what you’re looking for. But give yourself a pep talk. You’re not really saving anything if we have no planet to live on.

Do your research and find sustainable shops that sell all the things on your many lists above. Maybe they’re local, maybe they’re vegan, maybe they sell things second-hand. There are many ways to be sustainable and you can choose what’s important to you.

Here are a few shops to get you started:
Made Trade is an online shop that partners with a wide array of ethical brands, small businesses, independent makers, and artisans to offer sustainable home goods and apparel.
Burrow offers a wide variety of furniture. All of which is crafted right here in the USA from sustainably sourced materials.
Sól Organics puts affordability at the forefront of their ethically sourced, 100% organic cotton bed and bath linens.
Credo Beauty is my go-to for all things beauty. The “Credo Clean Standard” ensures all products sold through their site contain clean, eco-friendly ingredients.
Colorado based brand Pact is one of the best places to shop super-soft basics. They offer long lasting apparel for everyone in the family.

And what’s more sustainable than purchasing items that already exist? These vintage shops offer one of a kind pieces that will make perfect holiday gifts: Treasures of New York City, Elia Vintage, Courtyard LA, Lucia Zolea and Beacon’s Closet.

Stick to your plans

This is the hardest part. You’ll see an item on sale and it’s just a few krone more than your maximum. Don’t buy it. Or do, but cross another item off the list so that you don’t go over your budget.

Be okay with not getting everything

Mostly, you won’t find the everything you needed or wanted on Black Friday at the price you wanted to pay, and that’s okay. That’s part of the reason this system works. Because you don’t get everything on the list. You gave yourself permission to get it if it was really worth it, and it wasn’t really worth it. And that’s the difference between rampant consumerism and considered buying.

We all know the feeling. Black Friday ads have been following you around the internet for weeks. There’s something you really, really want. And now it’s 50% off. It’s such a big saving! So you click “add to cart”. You get a dopamine hit as you enter your credit card details and bam, it’s on its way to you.

But then a few minutes later, buyer’s remorse sets it. Did you really need it? Is it really saving money if you’re spending unnecessarily? Did you put it on your credit card and now you’re going to be charged interest? Will it end up basically costing full price? Cue all the bad feels.

So, what are we supposed to do with that depressing tale? Turn off our devices for the next week? Cut up our credit cards? Go back to bartering bananas for cows?

Don’t panic. Let’s find moderation. Set some ground rules for responsible spending so we can live a little without hurting the planet or our finances too much.

Do an audit of what you actually need

Take a look at the different areas of your life and think about things you will definitely need to buy in the near future anyway. Whatever it is: baby clothes, cleaning supplies, makeup… put it on a giant “I’ll be buying this anyway” list.

And then one of things you want

Look, I’m not about to condone buying a yacht on a whim. But if you want a new set of bed linen even though your current set is just a little stained and not totally worn out, then go for it. You’re absolutely allowed to have nice things. Living sustainably doesn’t mean never shopping. It means putting a bit of extra thought into what you buy – choosing locally made items that use ethically-sourced materials. Add a few “want” items to the list too.

Categorize your list

Is it obvious yet how much I love a list? It should be. Once you have everything you need, put them into categories. Maybe it’s home, beauty, kids, tech. I don’t know your life, you figure this part out.

Do a storage-space  & use audit

It may be tempting to buy everything now that it’s on sale, and it’s often more affordable to buy in bulk. But make sure you have space to store the items in your home, and that you’ll be able to use them before the end of their shelf life. Skincare, beauty and cleaning products all have a shelf life. I recently learned the hard way that expired sunscreen doesn’t work. That time in 2016 when I bought nine bottles of sunscreen really burnt me. Literally.

Assign a reasonable budget

You might want to do your budget per item or per category, or even both (I see you, A-type spreadsheet people) but the main thing is knowing how much you can reasonably afford to spend per item, and in total. Not everyone has the privilege of buying the things they need in cash, especially at this time of year, but do bear something in mind.

If you buy on credit and can’t fully pay it off before you are charged interest, the interest may pile up and you may end up spending more than you saved on Black Friday.

This is a story for another day and another person to write (I’m not a financial advisor) but it might be a good time to check what your credit card interest rate is and see if you can get a lower one. Back to Black Friday.

Choose your vendors

This is where the sustainability part really comes in. I refuse to shop at certain stores due to the way they treat their employees, their supply chain and the earth. Often these retailers are the cheapest option (exploiting people and our resources tends to be cheap) and sometimes they’re even the only place you can buy exactly what you’re looking for. But give yourself a pep talk. You’re not really saving anything if we have no planet to live on.

Do your research and find sustainable shops that sell all the things on your many lists above. Maybe they’re local, maybe they’re vegan, maybe they sell things second-hand. There are many ways to be sustainable and you can choose what’s important to you.

Here are a few shops to get you started:
Made Trade is an online shop that partners with a wide array of ethical brands, small businesses, independent makers, and artisans to offer sustainable home goods and apparel.
Burrow offers a wide variety of furniture. All of which is crafted right here in the USA from sustainably sourced materials.
Sól Organics puts affordability at the forefront of their ethically sourced, 100% organic cotton bed and bath linens.
Credo Beauty is my go-to for all things beauty. The “Credo Clean Standard” ensures all products sold through their site contain clean, eco-friendly ingredients.
Colorado based brand Pact is one of the best places to shop super-soft basics. They offer long lasting apparel for everyone in the family.

And what’s more sustainable than purchasing items that already exist? These vintage shops offer one of a kind pieces that will make perfect holiday gifts: Treasures of New York City, Elia Vintage, Courtyard LA, Lucia Zolea and Beacon’s Closet.

Stick to your plans

This is the hardest part. You’ll see an item on sale and it’s just a few krone more than your maximum. Don’t buy it. Or do, but cross another item off the list so that you don’t go over your budget.

Be okay with not getting everything

Mostly, you won’t find the everything you needed or wanted on Black Friday at the price you wanted to pay, and that’s okay. That’s part of the reason this system works. Because you don’t get everything on the list. You gave yourself permission to get it if it was really worth it, and it wasn’t really worth it. And that’s the difference between rampant consumerism and considered buying.

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