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Five Reasons Why Avoiding Black Friday Is Good For You

Stuff. That's what retailers will want you to buy more of this Friday. You'll have countless heavily discounted items that will scream 'BUY ME' at you, even if you don't need them. Here are a few reasons why I'll be switching off.

1. Homes with less stuff are more relaxing

Yes so maybe there isn't any hard scientific evidence for this yet, but can Marie Kondo and her 5 million readers be wrong? We seem to be craving simpler, cleaner homes. Amazon now lists in excess of 800 book titles on 'decluttering', so it's definitely a thing. Mind you, I assume those books will all be on sale this week. Interesting...

2. We are already keeping our clothes for shorter periods, so why buy even more?

An excellent McKinsey study recently found that 'Across nearly every apparel category, consumers keep clothing items about half as long as they did 15 years ago'. But what does that mean? If we are we buying them, not wearing them, then giving them away, why buy more? If it means we are buying them and they don't last as long, again, why buy more? Perhaps it's time to buy better quality.

Here's a nice little thing to do while you are not shopping for more stuff. Estimate the cost per wear of a few things in your wardrobe you bought from cheaper and higher end brands, as Kate Black does in her brilliant book on sustainable fashion 'Magnifeco'. Are you finding that there isn't really a direct link between low price and good value?

3. Heavy discounts should make you suspicious.

Either those retailers are still making money at 70% discounts, which shows how much you are usually paying over the odds. Or they are not making money and are desperate to shift that stock for a reason. Yes, selling is hard for businesses and that means sometimes discounts are warranted to make space for new stock. But if that floral, culotte style, three quarter length jumpsuit is on sale at 50% off, perhaps there is a reason for that. (Yes, that exists and trust me, it's a bad situation.)

4. Shopping is stressful

Who actually enjoys being pushed around in huge department stores by a crazed crowd of bargain hunters or, somehow worse, being followed round the internet by annoying ads for clothes you clicked on once out of curiosity. I'm now being followed round by a scary culotte jumpsuit. Please make it stop.

5. Experiences make you happier than stuff

Now this one is actually backed up by research. And indeed we are spending more of our disposable income on experiences rather than things. So unless you actively enjoy the activity of shopping, maybe treating yourself to a nice dinner or catching up with a friend you've not seen for a while might be time better spent.

If there is something you've had your eye on for ages that will be heavily discounted this week, by all means, go for it. Otherwise, take a leaf out of all those decluttering books and do something more worthwhile instead.