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Buy Nothing Day: A Black Friday Alternative

The day after Thanksgiving is most commonly known as Black Friday. Black Friday is a day (and night) of staying up until odd hours, standing in endless lines, and fighting over a product that you have convinced yourself you just need to have. But, what if our debt counselors told you there was another less expensive, more empowering option? Luckily for everyone, there is Buy Nothing Day.

If you're paying off debt, celebrating "Buy Nothing Day" is a helpful move.

If you’re paying off debt, celebrating “Buy Nothing Day” is a helpful move.

What Is Buy Nothing Day?

Buy Nothing Day is the day after Thanksgiving. While it runs concurrently with Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day is quite the opposite. At its core, it’s a demonstration against consumerism and the mentality that we should buy, buy, buy to be happy. Since the early 1990’s, Buy Nothing Day has been celebrated in some countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and continues to grow in popularity around the world.

Particularly during the holidays, people spend exorbitant amounts on gifts, parties, and items they don’t really need and often can’t afford. A growing number of people are starting to take a stand against Black Friday and all of the crazy, hectic, and downright stressful shopping that goes along with it. Instead, they choose to sit out on the shopping and consumer debt to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.

Why Buy Nothing Day Is So Great

It’s the perfect excuse to save yourself from the huge Black Friday lines and crowds – and feel good while doing it! And there are even a number of events to take part in for free! Some activities include going hiking or biking, free street parties, or even just staying home to enjoy the day. Buy Nothing Day is truly the perfect event to take part in; especially if you’re working on debt management and are trying to maintain a budget going into the holidays.

The best thing about it is that everyone can get involved. It is one of the few events that allows you to join in without having to break the bank. Plus, deciding to purchase less and waste less is a great savings lesson for kids.

Many people participate in Buy Nothing Day to take back the meaning of the holidays from “things” to people. Buy Nothing Day helps to teach children that buying things doesn’t always make you happy. And it saves a few bucks for mom and dad in the process. People and experiences make us much happier than any item we could buy, and participating in Buy Nothing Day is a great life lesson that will hopefully help lead to a debt-free, financially healthy future for our children. So sit back, eat some leftovers, and Buy Nothing!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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