The Official List of Allowed Purchases This Black Friday

Every year around this time I put on my clever hat and try to have some fun with Black Friday… This has produced a multitude of award winning articles such as “How I feel about Black Friday in Animated Gifs“, “7 Things I’d rather do than shop on Black Friday,” and my personal favorite, “10 ways Black Friday is like sex.’ (I swear, I deserve a raise…)

As I woke up this morning, however, I realized I’m in no mood to be funny. All I could think about were the poor souls about to swap feasts of turkey and family for fancy coupons and long lines hangin’ with rude people. And that’s before Friday even hits!

Bah humbug.

So I was relieved when I sat down at my desk to see a memo from the higher ups demanding that I share it with you. Whew – off the hook! Here’s what the note said:

Dear Budgets Are Sexy readers,

This is J. Money, CEO of Sexy University. By now I’m sure you’ve read the 1,008 articles on the merits of Black Friday, and are excited about the $$ you’ll be saving after all that spending (huh?). This is a friendly reminder of corporate policy:

You may not, in any circumstances, buy anything that does not involve financial education this weekend. This includes TVs, toys, CDs (is it Dave Ramsey?), clothes, candy, blow up dolls, or any other miscellaneous tchotchkes.

We are sick and tired of constantly being left out of these savings frenzies, and it’s high time to send these faceless corporations a message:


How will we get this message across? By purchasing as many personal finance related items as possible so demand rises and everyone’s thus treated fairly in all future years. If money will be spent, it shall be for the greater good of our loved ones’ wallets, dammit!

I have attached with this note a box of all approved objects that fit this strict code. If any reader is caught purchasing anything different this Absence-of-Color Friday, they will be punished to the fullest extend of Financial Law. And the real naughty ones will get letters sent to Santa telling him so too (oooooh).

Respectfully yours,

– J. Money,
CEO and Founder, Sexy University

Wow – talk about Horrible Bosses! (The sequel now out in theatres!)

Here were all the approved items from the box:

the millionaire next door

“The Millionaire Next Door” (one of the best financial books ever written, $9.60 @ Amazon)

savings bonds

Savings Bonds (you can’t get printed ones anymore (my boss is old), but you can buy them online)

budgetsaresexy logo

Budgets Are Sexy Subscription (Get emails of all blog posts for FREE!)

{Or even better – a one-on-one money coaching session with yours truly}

i heart spreadsheets

“I Love Spreadsheets” Mug (To remind us of what’s important in life, $11.08 @ Amazon)

i will teach you to be rich

“I Will Teach You To Be Rich” (the 2nd best finance book out there, $8.09 @ Amazon)

redskins piggy bank

Redskins Piggy Bank (there’s a sticky here that says “any bank is fine… except for The Cowboys”)

hot pink ear phonesEar Phones (This one surprised me, but when I put them into my ear I heard that soothing voice of Joe Saul-Sehy from The Stacking Benjamins podcast and realized it was a reminder of all the kick-ass podcasts there are out there available for download 24/7. Also gratis!)

cash in box

Lastly, “The box” from the Grammy nominated “Cash In a Box” single was in there as well. A reminder that you can always just, *ahem*, put your cash in a box.

And that was that…

I’m actually quite impressed. My boss is usually quite boring around the holidays – he must have started on the eggnog early! I kinda agree with the sentiment though…

Why do we money lovers always get the shaft every year at these blow out sales? When was the last time finance books were 80% off? Or debt balances cut in half? Or better yet, deeply discounted stocks and houses??

Oh wait…

Uhh, gotta get back to work – see ya!

Hat tip to the Beautiful Jenny Blake for inspiring this post… One look at that mug and I was sold.

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  1. How To Save Money November 26, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    Cool list..I’d love to buy one of those printed savings bonds and have them framed up or something.

    1. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy November 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      I’ve always been interested in old railroad bonds… but those are more collector’s items than investments (or both?) nowadays.

      PS. Cyber monday when dealing with Amazon!

      1. J. Money November 29, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        Yeah! I actually just traded away some some old (cashed in) railroad stock certificates. Pennsylvania Railroad to be exact (and Pan Am Airways – hah). They’re real cool looking :)

  2. Mrs. Frugalwoods November 26, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Hah! Glad to see the return of Cash In A Box–the all time best PF self-made video about cash going into a box ;)!

    I’m not a fan of Black Friday in the least. I don’t enjoy shopping to begin with, so the thought of leaving my cozy home & family (and Frugal Hound!) to elbow strangers for a so-called “deal” is basically my worst nightmare. But I am a fan of your approved gifts, especially the mug (hope Mr. FW isn’t reading this because that might be his Christmas gift…)

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      Mr. FW will be one lucky man! Can I drink from it shall I ever visit you one day?

      1. Mrs. Frugalwoods November 29, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        Absolutely. Our other mugs were pulled out of the trash (other people’s, that is), so we’ll set the fancy, store-bought mug aside just for you.

  3. Alicia November 26, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    I don’t get Black Friday – perhaps because I’m Canadian, and it isn’t linked to a holiday like it is in the U.S. Even though I’m not in the States I still got a smoking deal last year on my parents Christmas gift, all from the comfort of my office… 65% off a top-of-the-line Keurig on amazon.

    Yes, I acknowledge I shouldn’t be perpetuating the “great deals” on Black Friday, but I don’t think my parents will appreciate a box with a hole cut in it.. just saying.

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      Haha… I’m all for getting great deals when it’s something you’re already going to buy :) I actually don’t even mind going out on Black Friday (later in the afternoon) just to people watch – it’s crazy out there!

  4. Jon @ Money Smart Guides November 26, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    I know during 4th of July, Capital One 360 has a promo called “We The Savers” and they give all kinds of gifts for financial minded people. Too bad it’s during the one holiday when everyone is at the beach and doesn’t have internet access!!

    I am all about visual goals, so last year my wife bought me fake $1 million dollar bills in the amount that we need to be completely financially free. My sister is crafty, so she organized them in a frame and I have it hanging in my office. It’s a constant reminder to make smart money choices and to not get caught up in the emotion of buying stuff.

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      YES! LOVE THAT!!!!! What a damn good gift!

  5. Cassandra November 26, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    My heart went pitter pat when I saw that Redskins piggy bank. I’m a Black Friday refuser, but I know just who I have to buy that for. And someone should just burn all the Cowboys piggy banks…

  6. Even Steven November 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Love the list, didn’t know there was a sexy university?! As a Eagles and Packers fan I understand your dislike for the Cowboys and there overspending billion dollar ways, it’s just not frugal, I’m sure that’s why we both dislike them.

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      Oh, you nailed it. I just can’t sleep at night knowing how maxed out they are! ;)

  7. Kate@GoodnightDebt November 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    I reserved Millionaire Next Door at the library last night! After hearing about it so often, I had to pick it up. It was 100% off!!

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Can’t get better than that ;)

  8. Done by Forty November 26, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    It’s my cash in a box!

    We’re going the ‘buy nothing’ route on Friday, but I think it’s fine to have a few personal finance themed exceptions.

  9. Frugal Buckeye November 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    Well I guess my Black Friday shopping is done because I actually found a copy of The Millionaire Next Door on our street this week on Trash Day!

    Looking forward to reading it over the upcoming holiday breaks.

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      What? Are you serious?? That’s like throwing out thousands of dollars!! That book holds all the knowledge you need to grow your wealth! ;)

  10. Brian @ Debt Discipline November 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    I have a few of those saving bonds some where. Gifts from when my kids were born, need to find them.

  11. Free to Pursue November 26, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Though we don’t celebrate US TG (we get it 1 month earlier, woot woot), Canadians are now also inundated with Black Friday deals…some of which started two weeks ago?! I can’t figure it out.

    Anyway, great ideas…especially the books ;).

    We’ve given up gifting at Christmas, so I won’t be going out there…for anything, but I do enjoy the people watching if I am out and about for anything else. I find it amazing how the behaviours exhibited from now until December 25th do not match it being the “most wonderful time of the year”.

    Just sayin’.

  12. Tonya@Budget and the Beach November 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Whew, I just bought headphones recently because my others ones were completely falling apart. Now I can listen to finance related podcasts again when I run. I think I’ll borrow the books from the library though. Even better!

  13. kay ~ November 26, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t even like sports, but I gotta have me some of that piggy bank! :D

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      You have good taste ;)

  14. Michelle November 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Love all of these ideas. I know a few people who would love that mug!

  15. Lisa November 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    J$ have you picked up Tony Robbins’ new Money Book??? It’s bada$$ you’ll love it…definitely best financial book that exists.

    (That and my online program, of course ;))

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Hah! Funny enough I just read something saying how horrible it was! At least in the investing part of it… Interesting how people’s opinions can differ so much. Guess I’ll have to check for myself now, eh? :)

  16. Shannon @ Financially Blonde November 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    You’re forgetting THE BEST financial book out there, Train Your Way to Financial Fitness, written by a smart but blonde friend of yours. AND it just got picked up by a Vietnamese publisher so look for it in Vietnam in 2015. :-)

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      You know what they say – you’re not officially an author until published in Vietnam!

  17. Mark @ BareBudgetGuy November 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    For me, Black Friday is not about the stuff. It’s about the thrill of the experience. Which is why I’m going to hang out and wal-mart, and try to not get killed.

  18. Melissa November 26, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    This post is awesome. I *never* shop Black Friday, but this year I made an exception and shopped the Goodwill pre-Black Friday 50% off sale and scored 3 signed copies of finance books I’ve been meaning to read: Suze Orman’s “Women and Money,” Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Meg Whitman’s “The Power of Many,” for a whopping $5 total. Now, which one to read first?… :) Happy Thanksgiving, J!

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      Rich Dad Poor Dad!

      (And Goodwill has black friday deals??? That changes everything! Forget you ever read this post! ;))

  19. Dee @ Color Me Frugal November 26, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Love this list! The Millionaire Next Door is my personal favorite finance book, I’ve probably read it at least ten times. I Will Teach You to be Rich is a great one too ! I also love Rich Dad Poor Dad.

  20. EL November 26, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    The list is decent, I could have suggested additional items like the secret hidden safe you posted a while back. Now that was a cool gift. I wonder who will be the lucky winner of the cash in the box makeshift piggy bank. That thing is super (not ) cool.

  21. Colby November 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    The Millionaire Next Door audible version is free if you sign up for a free trial at Audible. I commute an hour each way to work, might as well listen to something that can help my financial situation.

    I’ve experienced black friday a couple of times and I won’t do it again. None of the deals are worth fighting traffic, crowds, lines, the cold, and missed sleep. I think most people know this, but do it for the experience. An example I saw recently was a guy who started camping outside Best Buy 2 weeks before black friday, just to score $100 off a new iPad.

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Oh my gosh that is TOO much…

      I do get the experience thing though. I’ve done it a few times in my youth (waking up early, like back when it was 6am or 7am, haha…) but now I have my kids to amuse me. And anytime they act up I can put them in time out ;)

  22. Aimee November 26, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    I only shop for myself on Black Friday (online only!) or Cyber Monday. Last year I got a killer deal on bras from Kohl’s, and this year I am working on replacing some outdoor gear (hiking boots, climbing shoes, multi-day backpacking pack) and a face product I like from The Body Shop.

    I have a travel/adventure blog I started from my cross country vanning road trip!

    1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Hey no shame in replacing old stuff with new stuff when it’s needed! Especially when you were a) going to do it anyways at some point, and b) get it for crazy amounts off!

      I never have a problem with saving money on things, it’s just the “things” most people go after aren’t so keen on the wallet.

      (And great job w/ the site! Just checked out a few of the posts – killer pictures!! You guys look like you’re having so much fun! :))

  23. Michelle November 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Love the memo, that’s awesome, and the list, even better! I don’t get Black Friday or Boxing Day for Canadians, the sales are not sales any more and the retailers just have special crap made for these days. Usually its junk.
    I was surprised to get an email from Questrade today for Black Friday and 50% commissions if you bought gold or silver. Irrelevant to me but at least they’re trying…LOL!

    1. Michelle November 26, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      Meant to say 50% OFF commissions….sheesh. :P

      1. J. Money November 26, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        Dannng you got me excited about the chance of buying silver or gold coins themselves for 50% off! Haha… That would be something else allowed from my boss too ;) You gotta take discounted investments anywhere you can get them!

  24. Chris @ Flipping a Dollar November 27, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    LOL Well, we’re buying a chest freezer so we can store some bulk beef. Definitely a savings as considering how much beef we will eat. I love me some steaks! Plus it’s only $100 at HH Gregg, and it’s on sale today, Thanksgiving, when we don’t have any family coming over!

  25. Brittany November 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Haha “Absence of Color Friday” ;) HO HO HOLD up! Don’t spend your money!

    1. J. Money November 29, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      Hope you had a good one ;)

  26. Katie Lake November 29, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    I bought two sweaters at Old Navy for $30 (that’s the total including our crazy almost 10% sales tax in TN) late in the day. I am a big fan of small business Saturday though. Gotta support the little guy in my little town to reinforce the local economy. Also – they usually carry way cooler stuff :)

    1. J. Money December 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      I’ll agree Small Business Saturday is sexier (even though it’s still spending $! :))

  27. Zambian Lady December 2, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    I totally agree with you regarding The Millionaire Next Door. That book changed my life several years ago and I still use the wisdom I gathered from it.

    1. J. Money December 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM


  28. Shay November 25, 2022 at 9:40 AM

    I use Black Friday to purchase things I was already going to buy but held off waiting for a deal-( but I shop from the comfort of my computer). I needed a specific type of fabric for a project ( and that fabric is not cheap) that usually is not discounted- but I found a Black Friday sale that saved me so much money. THAT is what frugal people do.

    1. J. Money November 25, 2022 at 12:35 PM

      Can’t hate on that! I hope you get your fabric and then send me a pic of it whenever it’s all finished! :)