Marathon Spending Log: My Black Friday Mantra

Note: this isn’t an update to my spending log, but it is related to minimal marathon spending!

Happy early Thanksgiving! After you’re done stuffing your belly with potatoes and turkey and watching football in a food coma, it’s immediately time for another pseudo-holiday that is pretty quintessentially American:

Black friggin’ Friday.

I usually do not get drawn into the allure of Black Friday “deals”, but even though marathon training doesn’t start for almost 7 months, I find myself tempted to take advantage of steep discounts on running stuff this week.

As in: I know I’m trying to cut back on spending and all, but…oooh, a race registration fee at a steep discount! I mean, yeah I didn’t really want to do this race before, but it’s so CHEAP!


No, I don’t need new shoes right now…but I may need them when training starts so might as well get them while they’re on sale, right?

Sound familiar?

Well, I have developed a mantra to help me through temptation on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any other time I’m tempted to buy running stuff because it’s cheap or I’m bored and in search of a fleeting acquisition high:

You already have everything you need.


Nothing bad is going to happen to you by skipping out on buying this product. The only thing you will lose is the fleeting “purchase high” that never actually translates into real added joy in your life.

You will make it just fine without it.

You will not lose any happiness without it.

You will still be motivated to run without it, because you already love running.

You can save that money instead, or use it for something else you need.


This isn’t to say that never again will I buy something I don’t need. It’s more about being mindful of where my money goes and recognizing where that urge to spend is really coming from. As the saying goes, “a fool and her money are easily parted.” Treating myself is nice, but by definition, it’s not a “treat” if I indulge any time I want and without having to earn it. All those unnecessary purchases I justify as “treats” or by saying “just this one last time!” don’t exist in a vacuum – they add up, and each one enables the next, and no one of those purchases brings real happiness but the accumulation of $$ thrown away on those purchases will eventually bring real unhappiness.

I believe there is a balance to be found. A healthy amount of consumerism is good for our economy, but I also know that companies only have their own interests in mind, and they pay their advertisers a lot of money to manufacture a nonexistent need and keep me in the cycle of feeling like my life is not satisfying enough but it will be if I buy their products.

So this Black Friday I’m remembering: I already have everything I need.


6 thoughts on “Marathon Spending Log: My Black Friday Mantra

  1. Well put. I will be busy decorating on black Friday, so I will miss the sales…
    I just read your previous blog about goals…sounds good. After coming off a fall of NO RACES (well, except a Ragnar, but you can’t really “race” that), I am feeling ready to set a lofty goal for Boston.
    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Hanna! Thanks for all the thoughtful reads!


  2. You should opt outside on Black Friday! There’s no temptation to buy anything while out in nature. I’m not a fan of Black Friday and I really appreciate the sentiment you express in this post. Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. You are 100% right! I don’t usually fall for Black Friday deals (running or otherwise), but a race I’m planning on doing in the spring is offering 10% off, and a pair of cycling shorts I’ve been wanting are 40% off. Still trying to decide whether to grab them now or just wait until I feel more confident about making those purchases, since like you said they will add up and they usually do lead to even more purchases…


  4. This fool and her money have been parting way too often since the purchase of the new house! I am hoping that my need to spend will slow down soon.

    Right before we purchased the house I had read a bunch of personal finance blogs and for the first time in my life, I went through my bank statements and was SHOCKED at how much money I wasted. I then set myself a budget for saving, spending and investing and stuck to the plan for one month until we bought the house. I am hopeful to get back on track by February!

    I’m still spending less on eating out though, which was the main culprit for wasted money on my part. I was spending ~$600 a month eating out, getting expensive coffee every morning (and sometimes afternoon too), etc. Literally the amount I spent on coffee a month could be a car payment! :-O Not that I want a car payment either, but it really put my spending into perspective when I thought about the ways I was spending and how it could be serving me better so that I can take an early retirement! 😀

    Sooooo did you end up buying anything for Black Friday, or did you stick to your guns and skip all the sales? I purchased house stuff but skipped all the running stuff.


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