Sunday, November 27, 2011

Don't Click for Comfort

So the tally is in and Americans spent over $52 million dollars this Black Friday alone. This is a retail record and proves that the world is spending and shopping and having a sweet bippy time. Or does it? I deliberately did not post any shopping news because you guys were all busy shopping giving me the past few days to do some pretty intense shopping research. I have interviewed those on the fringe waiting outside stores for the deals of the century. I have spoken to the Black Friday shoppers and anti-shoppers. I have scoured the web and come across the $50 flat screen and $2 toaster (for a limited time only). I spoke with one shoved individual and another who was elbowed by an elderly woman in order to get a candle holder. From Wal-Mart. I spoke with and read about disgruntled workers who were expected to clock in after they backed away from Thanksgiving Dinner. Pepper spray, tramplings, 12 am openings and the like permeated the net & waves. But the most important piece of research that I found was, of course, in The New York Times’ Editorials/Letters section. An article entitled, Why We Spend, Why They Save by Princeton professor Sheldon Garon. While the world was shopping, I, in rare form, was not. I was busy reading and the facts that I discovered were astounding. This country lacks a true “savings mentality” and we are lagging in the financial world. Americans save less than 4% annually while countries in Europe save over 10%. That is a sad fact. But Americans are not sad enough because they are still shopping and not saving. Is this news to anyone? Are we unaware of our mounting credit card debt? The excessive foreclosures? Seems as such because we shopped it up without a care the entire weekend and I don’t think that it was just that top 1% that everyone is talking about. See, here is the thing. There is abso-freaking-lutely nothing wrong with shopping. Heck, I make a living out of it. There is a problem, however, with living beyond your means, purchasing things that you don’t need or cannot afford and Christmas does not offer you an excuse to max out.

I know we are ‘tising the season and getting amped up in order to find the perfect gifts for mama, daddy, Suzie, Joe, & Mary. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year but don’t try to be Santa, please. Last I checked both Mr & Mrs. Claus had an army of tiny elves doing work pro bono therefore they have no need for the AMEX. We are real people living in a really tough time financially. I urge you more than ever to shop super smart and don’t feel that seasonal pressure to mass consume. The world will always produce desirable things giving you endless opportunities to shop when your wallet allows. The stores will always win and to prove my point a retail Insider informed me that many of the sales that the shops are touting today, have been going on for weeks and will be until the big day. You are not beholden to their timeframes so shop when you want and are fully able.

With this is mind, tonight, I will be revamping my blog and attaching links to some of my favorite shopping deals and sites of the season. Personally, I saw all this coming and am pretty much done with my Christmas shopping (woohoo!) despite not partaking in the Black Friday mayhem. Starting tomorrow, From Saks to Salvation will be here for you when you are ready to luxury shop without the need to get to the store, fight the crowds and leave exhausted. Cyber Monday is tomorrow and you will have the chance to purchase in the comfort of your own home but be especially aware here. Don’t click for comfort. Shop smart.