I saw on the news where folks were already camping out for some of the Black Friday sales – on Sunday, a solid five days before the sales start.
These people are giving up hours and days of their lives, choosing to camp outside a store – many times in cold weather – all for the sake of saving money? I’m no economist*, but it just doesn’t seem worth it.
*Seriously, I’m not. In college, my major required me to take a basic Econ course. I was so bad at it that I got to take it twice. That is one of the many reasons I was lucky to marry a “numbers girl” who loves financial stuff.
Without her, I’m likely retiring to the comfort of a cardboard box while trying to sell my kidneys on Craigslist. There’s a reason this site isn’t FeitCanFixFinances, people.
You can find all sorts of calculations (both simple and complex) to determine what an hour of your time is worth. A very simplistic (and therefore, easy for me to use) version can be found here, and goes like this:
- Take your annual salary/wages.
- Divide that number by 2000 (50 working weeks at 40 hours per week)
- Divide that number in half (taxes, Social Security, etc)
- The result is a rough estimate of what your time is worth per hour.
For somebody making $50,000 a year, an hour your time is worth approximately $12.50. At $30,000 a year, it’s around $7.50. A minimum wage worker’s time is worth $4.50 an hour.
So for those fools who are spending 100+ hours in line for Black Friday deals, you may be saving $400 on that new TV or computer, but you are almost definitely losing money overall (not to mention free time, a holiday with family, personal comfort and warmth, and likely your sanity) sitting outside Wal-Mart.