The Insanity of Black Friday

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.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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:

  1. Take your annual salary/wages.
  2. Divide that number by 2000 (50 working weeks at 40 hours per week)
  3. Divide that number in half (taxes, Social Security, etc)
  4. 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.

Good job!

One Comment

Reblogged this on jamesmcraig and commented:
Consumerism is getting a little out of hand

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