Black Friday - the pinnacle event for consumerism - has descended. Now though, it’s seldom confined to just one Friday. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and more have expanded to a full calendar of shopping extravaganzas. In the midst of all the deals and discounts, how can you keep your head, and stay mindful of needless spending.
The hype surrounding Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the end of year spending season can be quelled by just a few simple considerations. Spending mindfully is an amazing way to rise above targeted marketing campaigns and take back your sense of true purchasing power.
Don’t go on the internet! Just joking! We all will see our favourite shops (including The Jamila) and brands offering us discounts this weekend, which is great, but pause for a second before you buy too much and have a read of this instead.
Adopt the minimalist mindset. When you think of minimalism, stark, light living rooms and crisp white linens may spring to mind. The message of minimalism is much more than an aesthetic trend. From The Minimalists, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” Adopting a Minimalist mindset requires you to mindfully consider your purchases before heading to the checkout. Ask yourself - does this purchase bring value into my life? Does it align with my own values and vision for the future? What will the cost per use be? If you come to favorable conclusions, then by all means, buy away. Thinking critically about items often trims the fat of your expenditures - something fundamentally incompatible with the blithe spending of Black Friday season.
Avoid the malls. In Bahrain, malls are a point of social focus no matter the season. During Black Friday, malls can devolve into pandemonium. The best way to deal with temptation is to avoid triggers entirely. Rather than clutching your wallet walking around City Centre, take some time away from the malls. Get some valuable family time in without shopping as the focus. Try out some of our tourist locales, or even just head for a relaxing yoga class or a walk. There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself without shopping - don’t let Black Friday marketing fool you otherwise.
Fils for freedom. A tenet of conscious consumerism is changing the way you view money. Rather than looking at the fils in your wallet as spare change, see them as increments of freedom. Ask yourself before you buy - is this 20BD handbag worth 20 units of my freedom? How long do you actually have to work, in hourly terms, to afford the new iPhone? Remember - the money you spend is the money you’ve earned.
- Donate a portion of the money you’ve just saved to charity, pay it forward.
Support local. Big box stores take advantage of the Black Friday season when they really don’t need to. It is a nice, plump, cash injection to their profit margins, but multinational conglomerates can make do either way. If you’re looking to take advantage of some sales this season, use your spending power to empower your community. Look around for small, local businesses who would directly benefit from your purchase. Alternatively, support your local charities. A great way to take a community initiative is to donate the funds you’d spend on shopping to a worthy cause.
- Spare a thought for our big, beautiful plant. The excesses we purchase take their toll on the planet. Not only in their making but when you tire or your purchases and toss them out they’ll sit in a landfill long after you’ve forgotten about them.
We’re just saying...make a very conscious choice. The hype surrounding Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the end of year spending season can be quelled by just a few simple considerations. Spending mindfully is an amazing way to rise above targeted marketing campaigns and take back your sense of true purchasing power.
How are you being mindful of consumerism this season? Let us know in the comments!