In honor of Black Friday, I’m cleaning out the house. I do not inherently think negatively about Black Friday. Sales are great IF you were already going to buy the items you buy anyway. Otherwise, it’s still an unplanned expense. So, how do we use Black Friday sales?

How Do We Use Black Friday Sales?

Most importantly, we use sinking funds for all of our gift giving, which makes takes the stress away throughout the year of whether or not we will be able to get our loved ones anything. On top of that we will always check in to see if there is a way we can celebrate the holidays without giving physical gifts. Then, as early as August or September, we will start brainstorming ideas for friends and family with whom we do exchange gifts. This let’s us shop at our leisure when we find something on the list for the next couple of months. Ideally, this is a great plan. However, come Black Friday, we usually still haven’t purchased very much from the list. It’s not been a big issue, but Black Friday serves as a reminder of “hey, only one month left to get this done.”

So, when I see all the deals going on over the Thanksgiving weekend, I will use it to look specifically for things that are on my list for other family members and friends. The trick is to not get sucked down a rabbit hole of things that I could buy. Especially if they’d be for me or my wife (We both get each other too much.). One of the ways that I do this is to remind myself of all of the things we already have.

Why Clean Out the House?

I’ve found one way to be appreciative of everything that we have is to go through it all to see what we can donate. Looking at all of the things we currently have and do not use makes it pretty difficult to think that we really need more things. I’ve posted before about how we all have too much shit and I still believe that. So, when consumption is rampant and my email inbox is exploding with coupons and sales, we’re doing the opposite.

This year’s haul for donations!

Donating also puts me a bit more in the mood for a key tenet of the holiday season, generosity towards others. It’s always good to see things that we no longer use going to someone that can use them. I strongly suggest making donations, especially clothes, to shelters that can use them as opposed to Goodwill. Donating directly to a local shelter ensures that items will get directly to those in need. This year, we have a bunch of sweaters and older coats that will be perfect for our local women’s shelter.

So, if you need a way to not blow your budget this weekend, I recommend cleaning out the house. Appreciate all that you have as we go into the holiday season and stifle the itch to get more stuff.

Also, when you shop this year, keep these tips in mind for a better experience to be had by all.