While straddling the ever-thinning line between good old-fashioned capitalism and abject desperation, Black Friday shoppers perpetuate an age-old American tradition in their quest for the perfect half-off cheese grater. But aside from the obvious entertainment value of watching two middle-aged men wrestle over a discount entertainment center, Black Friday is a pretty embarrassing display of ruthless American materialism.
So, who’s heading the Wal-Mart line post-Thanksgiving dinner? According to Forbes, we are. Because who wouldn’t want to support the tradition that made it socially acceptable to punch another human being in the face over half-off luxury soaps?
Keeping the Tradition Alive
We’re also projected to spend 47 percent more money than we did last year, despite having a significantly smaller budget than that of older shoppers, who are primed to spend just 25 percent more this holiday season. Our 2015 holiday spending will total $63 billion, with 52 percent of that money being spent on experience-related purchases such as travel and entertainment. My credit card statement is starting to make sense.
“People in this generation, which came of age around the turn of the millennium and range in age from 18 to about 35, are far more likely to want to shop on Thanksgiving Day and on Black Friday than older age groups,” said Carrie Wells of The Baltimore Sun. “Since they grew up with the Internet, they’re more likely to scope out deals or shop online before hitting brick-and-mortar stores.”
Seeking a victim to blame for your bank statement after reading this? It’s most likely grasped in the palm of your hand. Forbes dubs us the “ultimate multi-taskers,” claiming we’ve mastered the art of draining our bank accounts both in-person and online. At the same time. According to a 2014 analysis from VisionCritical, “four in ten mobile transactions will be done on a mobile device while shoppers are out and about.” Tight.
While we’re all about stimulating the economy in the spirit of giving, I’d encourage all millennials (including the GenFKD staff) to practice what we preach and exercise some financial self-control this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Happy hunting and don’t forget your Mace!