The Boxing Day Hangover

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Hope everyone had a good and relaxing holiday with loved ones!

This past week has been really hectic for me (hence the sporadic posting).  I was working Boxing Day and somehow managed to still spend money.  Curse those shops that open past 5pm, curse them.  Curse you, Future Shop for having an online sale!

Boxing Day is known to be the day where people start lining up at electronics retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop at 1am on Boxing Day to get the best deals on their 52 ” flat screen LCD TVs, DVD players, and computers.

I think a lot of psychological aspects come into play on Boxing Day.  You spend all this time waiting in line and if you don't end up buying anything, you feel ripped off of your time.  If you do end up impulse buying, you feel remorse afterwards.

I call this phenomenon the Boxing Day Hangover.

Especially when the receipt says “FINAL SALE”.

I knew very well that the clothing store I was shopping at didn't really have a good boxing day sale.  The item I bought was only 20% off, and I knew that in a few weeks, it would become 50% off, and later on 70% off.  For some reason, I still bought it.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it was for the sake of buying something on Boxing Day because I was perturbed that I had to work and didn't have enough time to scope out the good deals.

On Boxing Day, everyone seems to wear “Shopping Goggles”.  Much akin to beer goggles where when intoxicated, one would find another person better-looking than they actually are, people with Shopping Goggles find the items that they are looking at more valuable and useful than they really are.  Shoppers on Boxing Day are not rational and are disillusioned by the mentality of “ACK!!  I only have one day and one day only to make this decision. Must. Buy. Now.”

To further illustrate that analogy, the Final Sale Item is like the One Night Stand.  When donning the shopping/ beer goggles, you run the risk of experiencing something you would rather not, had you not been under the influence. They both have irreversible consequences.

So how does one protect themselves from this regret?  Prevention is key.  Shop at places where you will be able to return the item you purchased.  Keep your receipts. Try not to impulse buy.  Bring a friend who can help tell you “Dude, you don't really need that.  You're wasting your money.” Try not to shop with someone who is an avid impulse buyer themselves.

If you've been saving up and meaning to get that Mac Book or that 52″ TV, Boxing Day is actuall a good time to buy things that normally would not be marked down.  But if you weren't planning to buy that plasma screen TV and you did, then I hope your budget isn't feeling the effects of the boxing day hangover. I went all out and ended up buying an Apple MacBook Pro (thanks again to online shopping). I'm waiting for it to come in the mail. I'll let you know if I end up feeling the hangover effects.

Have you ever had experiences with the boxing day hangover?  Any regretful experiences you had with shopping goggles? (Not referring to beer goggles.  Please spare us the details of your one night stands, thanks!)

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

1 Comment

  1. lin on December 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Was it a good deal? (the macbook pro?) I thought u can wait for the refurb at the online clearance after everyone returns their boxing week hangover items.



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