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How to Avoid the Black Friday Frenzy & Enjoy Thanksgiving!


How to Avoid the Black Friday Frenzy & Enjoy Thanksgiving!Happy Thanksgiving week! Can you believe the Holiday Season is here? Wow, the year is almost over! I hope you already picked up your turkey and it is thawing in the fridge. That’s an easy mistake to make if you never cooked a turkey before. On our first Thanksgiving, we picked up a turkey too late and had to delay our big feast until the weekend. Hey, live and learn, right?

This year, we’ll miss out on the Thanksgiving festivity. We’re in Thailand! Instead of Turkey and sides, we’ll be feasting on delicious Pad Thai, Khoa Soi, and curry. Yummm!!! Better yet, this trip to Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan is mostly paid for by travel hacking. Check out how I did it.

School Update

We’ll take RB40Jr out for school for 2 weeks and 2 days. However, he’ll only be absent for 7 days. There is no school on Thanksgiving week. It’s the perfect time to get out of town.

Here is an interesting development. RB40Jr scored in the 95th percentile in reading and math. His teacher told us to apply for the TAG program (talented and gifted.) That’s great! RB40Jr is a smart kid, but I didn’t think he’s gifted. Anyway, I think it’ll be great to get into the TAG program. It’ll get him going in the right direction. He still hates school. Maybe new challenges will make school more interesting.

As for writing, he’s having a hard time with it. His level of production is very low. The problem is he doesn’t know what to write. He takes too long to figure out what to write and then runs out of time. Recently, we started making him write more at home. He needs to write a page about what happened at school. This was a great idea. He is getting faster at writing things down. I think it’s easier at home because he can write about all the troubles the kids got into at school. I had this same problem when I was young too. I think too much and try to get the first draft to be perfect. Now, I know it’s easier to just let it flow and edit it later.

We’ll encourage him to write a journal on this vacation. I’ll help him write a few sentences every day. It shouldn’t be too difficult. We just need to set a schedule and stick to it.

2019 is better than 2018

2018 was a tough year for us. My mom was diagnosed with dementia. She lived with us, but the situation was deteriorating. So we decided to move her to Thailand last year. RB40Jr and I took 5 weeks off and helped her adjust. She has been living with my dad for a year now. It’s been a mixed bag. Her dementia continues to worsen and it’s a stressful situation for my dad. He has to supervise her 24/7. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a good helper. Last month, my dad got sick and had to check into the hospital for a week. It was a huge problem. There was nobody to take care of my mom and she had to stay in the hospital with him. Fortunately, he’s a bit better now and they’re back at home.

This trip, we’ll go check out a new dementia care facility near Chiang Mai. My mom is very resistant to the idea so it’ll be a tough sell. We’ll see if it’s the right fit for her. My dad is doing a good job, but it’s pretty stressful. He is also getting older and he might need help too. Getting old isn’t for wimps.

I’m thankful that my dad is taking care of my mom for now. She can’t live with us because dementia created a lot of conflicts here. Hopefully, my dad can take care of her for a couple more years. Once RB40Jr is a bit older, I’ll spend more time in Thailand. I’m also thankful for our good health. Mrs. RB40, Junior, and I are all healthy. It’s been a good year on that front.

Other things I’m grateful for

  • Retire by 40 continues to generate income. We made less this year, but it’s still pretty good.
  • We moved to our duplex and consolidated a bit. One less property means one less thing to worry about. Hopefully, we’ll consolidate down to just one property in 2 years or so.
  • Our passive income exceeds our expenses. We feel financially secure because we can save over 50% of our income this year.
  • We’re happy overall. Mrs. RB40 and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this year and our marriage continues to be very good. We don’t have a lot of problems and life is good. That’s the key to happiness.

Lastly, I’m really thankful for all your support. Last year was tough due to my mom’s health issue. Your comments really helped me get through that tough period. Thank you!

Black Friday

Okay, on to Black Friday. Thanksgiving is great. Black Friday, not so much. We did the Black Friday thing a few times in the past, but we don’t anymore. It just doesn’t make sense to get up so early to go shopping. Sure, you might save a few dollars if you’re lucky, but it never worked out for us. The store would run out of the sale items very quickly and we’d have very little to show for our effort. Anyway, we haven’t gone Black Friday shopping for years.

These days, I shop online instead. It’s so much easier. However, we’ll be out of town this year. I still want to get a few things though.

  • New TV! I got our TV in 2006. It’s 13 years old and very outdated now. The new 4k TVs look so awesome in comparison. I’ll go shop for a new TV after we get back from our trip. I’m going to buy it from a local store, though. It’s not a good idea to buy TV online. It’s a huge hassle to ship it back if something is wrong. I’m eyeing the new 2019 TCL 65r625. Let me know in the comment if you have a recommendation for a TV under $800.
  • Xbox One. Heh, I still have the original Xbox from 2001. I rarely play video games anymore so it wasn’t a big priority. However, the Xbox One can play 4k blu-ray discs. We don’t even have a blu-ray player so this will be a good upgrade. Our old DVD player is starting to malfunction too. I’m not sure if I’ll get an Xbox One S or splurge on the X. We’ll see what’s on sale when I get back.

Anyway, one way to avoid the Black Friday frenzy is to go on vacation. It’s great. I remember going through immigration on Thanksgiving one year. There was no line at all and we breezed through in just a few minutes. It’s a great time to take an international trip. Of course, it’d be harder to get away if you have families. In that case, check out some of the tactics I use to avoid the Black Friday frenzy.

How to avoid the Black Friday frenzy

1. Ignore Black Friday

It’s not easy to avoid Black Friday with all the advertising going on around us. Mrs. RB40 usually get a Sunday newspaper so she could look at the ads. However, she has an iron will and rarely buys anything. If you don’t have that, then you should avoid opening any junk mail for the next few days. It’s probably a good idea to avoid watching commercials too. There are many good deals to be had. If you pay attention to the ads, you probably will see something you’ll lust after.

2. Stay focused

Of course, if you need anything, Black Friday is a great opportunity to buy it. In this case, make a list and stay focused on just the items you need. In previous years, we’d plan which stores to visit and stick to it religiously. Usually, we only have 2-3 stores on our list. My shopping stamina is really bad. 3 stores are all I can handle. In recent years, I don’t go out at all on Black Friday. We’ll stay home all day, watch movies, and play video games. Ahhh… that’s the life.

If you’re braving Black Friday shopping, then have a game plan and minimize the number of stores you’ll visit. Also, make sure to set a budget and stick to it. Good luck if you’re heading out this Friday…

3. Online shopping

I don’t know why anyone would go Black Friday shopping these days. You can get pretty much anything online now. I guess some stores have really nice Black Friday deals, but the pain is just not worth it. My time is more valuable than that. Even saving $50 wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Why not just buy it online instead. Amazon is already having a great Black Friday week sale. Buy online instead of going out shopping on Friday. Online shopping makes life so much easier. Cyber Monday is great too if you need to spend some money.

4. Wait for the after Christmas sales

Another great option is to just wait for the after Christmas sales. This is my strategy for cloth shopping. Retailers will be desperate and put everything on discount after Christmas. A ton of people will also be returning gifts. Those will be discounted even more. According to the internet, December 26th is the best day of the year for clothes shopping. There will be big discounts and the inventory hasn’t been picked clean yet.

5. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family!

Lastly, Thanksgiving is about spending time with the family. Why punish yourself by driving around at 4 am? That’s insane. Wouldn’t it be better to relax at home and enjoy the long weekend with the family? That’s what we usually do on Friday. It’ll be rainy outside and we’ll be nice and cozy indoors. We already run around like mad every day, why not relax at home on Thanksgiving weekend?

Alright, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Do you have any plans for Black Friday? Are you braving the sales?

Thanks again for all your support. I really appreciate it. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you want to see some pictures from our trip.

The following two tabs change content below.
Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 75 comments… add one }
  • Michael @ Financially Alert November 30, 2019, 4:46 pm

    Hey Joe, I wish you all the best with your parents. Getting old is tough. We don’t think about it much when we’re young!

    Congrats on the TV. I just pulled the trigger on one myself… ironic because I also cut the cord a month ago.

    Our old TV was purchased back in 2004 for $3k. This time around, I spent $300. 😉

  • Drplasticpicker November 28, 2019, 12:29 pm

    No shopping this year. We are cooking most of the Thanksgiving dinner for the first time! So this is our new thing and otherwise avoiding malls and air travel.

  • Mike Carroll November 27, 2019, 5:32 am

    For RBJR, maybe look at kid friendly writing prompts. There is bound to be at least a couple that he might be interested in writing on. If that doesn’t work, take a bunch of photos and then have him create a story behind it about how it came to be or the legends surrounding that item/place/temple/etc (just ideas).

    In terms of tablets, I tend to lean towards the Surface Go or the Surface line. I find iPad devices lacking in a lot of things, and I find Android Tablets to be marginal at best. Even something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is somewhat of a disappointment to me (I don’t have one but read up on it).

    I hope things get better with your mother.

  • Ryan Schlomer November 26, 2019, 3:35 am

    The way to win on Black Friday is to stay home and pay off the debt you already have or save/invest your money. It’s a 100% guaranteed way to win a big deal.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Lucas Baile November 25, 2019, 8:18 pm

    Black Friday is shopping days for new release gadgets and appliance. Also, it is Sales Day because there are many discounted price in the retail store.

    I guess you’re right I’ll wait for the Christmas sales because to crowded at Black Friday.

  • Money Mage November 25, 2019, 12:36 pm

    I think one of the first years Black Friday came over to the UK the other-MM and I were both ‘omg! amazing!’. That year actually had really decent deals.

    It’s now just turned into more of the same, pushing stuff you don’t need. We keep as far away from it as possible now. Saves the pennies on things you don’t actually need.

    Enjoy Thanksgiving this Thursday! <3 -MM

  • nicoleandmaggie November 25, 2019, 12:19 pm

    We get flu shots on black Friday. It’s just an easy date to remember and everyone is out of school.

    • retirebyforty November 25, 2019, 4:07 pm

      That’s a great tradition. We got flu shots last week before leaving on our trip.

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies.net November 25, 2019, 9:56 am

    Happily, I don’t want anything this year so I’m not concerned with Black Friday. I briefly considered picking up a new robot vacuum since the spinning brush mechanism died on mine. But in the end it’s still picking up plenty and I don’t really need it. So I’ll be avoiding Black Friday ads and just concentrating on work emails, since I don’t get that day off.

  • Lily November 25, 2019, 9:53 am

    “Getting old isn’t for wimps.” Aw that’s so true, it’s heartbreaking to hear about your parents.

    But it’s so good to hear an update on Jr. You shouldn’t be surprised he scored so high on math, it makes sense. And the English/vocab thing — I’ve been told it’s pretty typically boy to lag behind in that. My little nephew is the same as Jr while his sister is the opposite, strong language skills and less strong math skills.

    • retirebyforty November 25, 2019, 4:06 pm

      Right, I’m not looking forward to getting old at all.
      I’ll have to spend more time in Thailand to help with my parents. Maybe Junior and I will come for 6-7 weeks in the summer.

  • Xrayvsn November 25, 2019, 4:25 am

    I’m like you Joe and prefer to avoid the crowds and do online shopping instead.

    Granted retail box stores know that the temptation to do online shopping is strong and therefore have to go overboard with some doorbuster deal of some sort but those deals are very limited and only a few can get them anyway. Not worth the hassle for them especially when you see stories of violence etc when the doors do open.

    I upgraded my TV this year to 4k (my old TV was from 2005 and vertical lines started to appear). Ended up with a Samsung and it was a huge upgrade.

    • retirebyforty November 25, 2019, 4:03 pm

      Nice upgrade! I’m ready for a 4k TV as well. We watch movies from the library and I think it’ll be worth it.

  • Mr. Tako November 24, 2019, 11:54 pm

    No big plans for black Friday here — Just hanging out at home with the family while the rest of the world buys the stuff sold by my companies, and uses the credit cards issued by the banks I own.

    Being an investor is great. Thanks for shopping!

    • retirebyforty November 25, 2019, 4:02 pm

      That’s a great way to look at it. I’m in Thailand this year so no Black Friday shopping. 🙂

  • Tigermom November 26, 2018, 8:28 am

    In Canada, thanksgiving is in October. Only recently have Canadian retailers embraced Black Friday despite no relationship to our thanksgiving. I work very close to stores and swooped in for some good deals on things we will use. The best is the sale off everything in the store, so no worries that just the junk is on sale. Nice warm socks for all, fleece lined pants for cold winter for baby, and half price sweatershirt for niece, nice!

  • Freedom November 25, 2018, 12:16 am

    Hi Joe

    I just wrote a similar (but with stronger messages (DO NO BUY PERIOD!!!) post on the subject…

    But we have to watch out now….Cyber Monday is coming…then Xmas…then Chinese New Year….Valentine Day…Mother Day…Father Day….

    Keep your wallet closed…:-) !!!!

  • FIRECracker November 24, 2018, 4:11 pm

    People still go out for Black Friday deals? I just don’t get it. Why fight with the crowds when you can get the deals online and have everything delivered to you. Ever since we retired, I’m super spoiled now and can’t stand crowds. Hate weekends. Love Mondays. Even in Europe, the Black Friday deals and crowds are everywhere!

    Also I can’t believe this year is almost over too. Sorry about it being difficult for you. Hopefully next year will be better. I really admire your positive attitude and resilience through it all.

    Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your upcoming Thailand trip!

  • David @iretiredyoung November 24, 2018, 3:44 am

    I lucked in with Black Friday by accident. We needed a washing machine, dryer, sofa and dining table and chairs. We’d looked at them earlier in the week and by coincidence went back to buy them on Friday, and saved money on all but the table. That’s a nice kind of accident.

  • WTK November 23, 2018, 11:05 pm

    Hi Joe,

    It has been a tough year for all. The going gets tougher, the tough gets going. Perservance is the way to overcome all adversity. Press on and maintain strong belief.


  • chichi November 22, 2018, 1:57 pm

    My son also has the same problems. He is so good with multiplication. He does four digit by four digits multiplication in his head in seconds and returns correct answer. However, writing and any literature arts is a slow part for him. He just doesn’t want to write long. Only few sentences. Have a good trip to Thailand and please relax your mind. This will still pass.

  • Gentleman's Family Finances November 22, 2018, 6:36 am

    sadly “Black Friday” has managed to make its way across the Atlantic to the UK and it’s everywhere!!!!
    Maybe it’s because I have too many emails from too many companies, but everyone wants me to spend my money on Black Friday.
    I’m giving it a miss – taking the day off work and just going to relax and spend time with my family instead of buying things I don’t need/want.

  • Steve @ familyonfire.org November 20, 2018, 8:50 pm

    The best thing about this week is getting free turkey. We typically don’t do turkey at Thanksgiving, but save up to do a big shop during the week to get a free one (usually by spending $100). I’ll butcher it in the week and there will be enough meat for many meals.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life November 20, 2018, 3:45 pm

    It has been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? We’ve been really lucky, both of us, to make it through with our families as well as we have so far. My fingers are crossed that you easily find a good living situation for your mom, I know that’s super stressful, and your RS investments come back to you in full.

    I feel like we always got docked points for not showing our work with math, didn’t we? I did anyway, they wanted us to prove that we actually did the math and didn’t just copy from the back of the book or get answers from a friend or something?

    We only use the BF frenzy online for specific family gifts and specifically for some families we “adopted” for gift-giving this year. Plus I have less than zero motivation to get my butt into a store, it’s all online!

  • Caroline November 20, 2018, 10:27 am

    Hey Joe,
    I know how things can feel overwhelming pretty quickly but you need take a step back and look at all you have going for you:)
    I am trying to do that myself right now, lots going on and feeling sorry for myself. But at the end of the day, I have it good…and so do you:) I hope your trip to Thailand works out well for you and your mom.
    As far as Black Friday, it’s not as big in Canada but I avoid it! Same with Boxing Day. Can’t stand the crowds, no matter what deals they have.

  • Doc G November 20, 2018, 8:19 am

    Hey Joe. I know that 2018 hasn’t been the best year for you. Just wanted to say I appreciate both your candor and positivity. Hope the rest of the year and 2019 turn around nicely. If not, I bet you still got it covered.
    (I still want to get you on the What’s Up Next Podcast!)

  • Cubert November 20, 2018, 4:40 am

    Hey Joe — Sorry to hear you’re having one helluva year. I hope your trip to Thailand helps take your mind off things. My buddy has a lot of money in Realtyshares too, and he’s not too nervous about the situation. Sounds like the projects already funded will move forward, they’re just closed to anything new at this time?
    Be well. And for the record, I’m up to 15 pull-ups now, with my next max set test coming up in 10 ten days!

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:19 am

      This Thailand trip will be pretty tough too. I need to find a stable living situation for my mom. She might need to go to a nursing home if it doesn’t work out. We’ll see how it goes.
      I’m still worried about RS. Hopefully, another company will buy them out and take over the loans.
      Great job with the pull-ups. 15 is really good. Keep at it!

  • Helen November 19, 2018, 4:04 pm

    Hi Joe, happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the duck. Yeah, duck is very tasty, especially the roasted one. Have a great time in Thailand. The warm weather should be great. I don’t like shopping, and never joined the Black Friday fun. But I like the holiday, decorations, music, and the cheerful spirit.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:17 am

      I’m really looking forward to our Thailand trip. It’s been so dry this year in Portland. My skin is all dried out. I need some humidity.

  • Dr. McFrugal November 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

    I much prefer Tofucken. Much tastier, and wayyyyy more funnier to say in a Thanksgiving party than “Turkey”.


    That’s just me. I know I’m in the minority here who wishes that all turkeys were pardoned.

    Anyway, I hope 2019 is a better year for you!

  • jim November 19, 2018, 1:15 pm

    ” He’s supposed to show his work, but he frequently just writes down the answer. This is bad because you only get partial credit if you don’t show the steps. New age math discourages calculating in your head, I guess.”

    I had the same problem as a kid. I didn’t show my work and the teacher gave me a zero. They accused me of cheating. My parents had to complain to the principal and I had to redo the work in front of the principal to demonstrate I could do it.

    I don’t think its about common core or new age math. Just some teachers demanding you show work … because they said so. Maybe there is a good reason to demand that for learning purposes besides just assuming kids cheat but I would’t know.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:14 am

      This is real simple stuff like 62-18. They need to show the movements. It’s pretty crazy.
      I think common core is great for the average kid, but not that good for really sharp kids.
      If you can do it in your head, why not? It’s not that complicated.
      You really need to show your work in common core. They break the problem down into easier steps. I think it’s part of the curriculum to show the steps.

  • Eric @ Flip n Finances November 19, 2018, 12:13 pm

    I’m with you Joe, stay in for Black Friday!

    I almost fell for the trap with an ad that got mailed to us. After looking into it, I just threw it in the trash instead! I get up early enough on most weekdays. I don’t need to wake up early on the holidays just to wait in line and maybe save a few bucks.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:11 am

      Great move. I haven’t looked at a Black Friday ad this year. They’re too tempting. 🙂

  • rex stone November 19, 2018, 11:46 am

    I made a decision decades ago to spend Thanksgiving’s long 4 day weekend immersed in nature and culture and history – especially black Friday is off limits for any commercial activity, with the exception of maybe buying gas (usually only needed if hiking > 100 miles from home). Thank goodness all the Smithsonian museums are open and everything outdoors that’s unlit is available dawn-dusk. Oh yeah, it’s also a good time to rake leaves since most of them have fallen by T’giving. In temperate climates, it’s a good time to complete your fall/winter outdoor home maintenance too.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:10 am

      That’s a great idea. I should go put some leaves into the bin at our rental too. There is a big pile in the backyard now.

  • Lazy Man and Money November 19, 2018, 9:09 am

    “He’s good with reading, okay with math, and needs a lot of improvement with writing.”

    That’s my 6-year old too. I think kids are too focused on screens nowadays and not developing the same fine motor skills. At least that’s my theory.

    For what it is worth, I got marked down all the time for doing math in my head in school. I think I’ll be very frustrated with the common core when my kids have to learn it.

    A week for Thanksgiving is crazy. I thought it was weird that my kids don’t have school on Wednesday.

    I stopped doing Black Friday for years. It was just a huge hassle that rarely worked out. However, there’s a Staples at a nearby strip mall that doesn’t get a lot attention. It seems that nearly everyone flocks to Wal-Mart. I’ve popped in there at 12:01 on Friday and found only a dozen people there. I don’t think they are opening up at midnight this year, so it might not work.

    Amazon needs to put the show mode dock for those tablets on sale for $19.99. I’d be all over it.

    One of my fondest memories of Phuket was that almost everyone wanted to make cheap suits for me. Maybe you can still get some good clothing deals ;-).

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2018, 7:09 am

      He’s okay with the mechanic of writing. He’s having more problem with what to write. We’ll work on it.
      Staples is a pretty good store for Black Friday shopping. We don’t need anything this year, though. 🙂

  • John November 19, 2018, 8:00 am

    I guess the stock market downturn is going to cause fear in the minds of FIREes. The last few years have been good but as the market goes south it will be interesting to see how the FIREes react and brag about their couple of millions. You don’t have to worry as your wife still works. You are one lucky dude

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:05 am

      I want to see how it goes too. Some people will adapt and some might go back to work. We’ll see how it goes.
      My wife is planning to retire in 2020. Hopefully, it will work out as planned. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Nathan @ Life Before Budget November 19, 2018, 7:28 pm

      I don’t think that we need to worry too much about the stock market slumping unless we just retired within the past 2 years. Instead, we just need to look at our withdrawals and make sure that they are less than 4% of our portfolio. Perhaps we even could decrease them a bit further by working a part-time job or avoiding Black Friday sales : ) This way, our portfolio would last for our entire early retirement!

  • Susan @ FI Ideas November 19, 2018, 7:55 am

    I can’t understand the desire to go out on Black Friday. Last year my sister-in-law was actually going to leave the Thanksgiving meal to stand in line for a 2am opening at some stupid store I’d never heard of in the mall. Crazy!

    I’m reading a book on the Growth Mindset that makes me think of your son. I think your idea of the journal is great. Just get him to write regularly and praise the effort, not worrying about how “good” it is. It’s the effort that matters and will move him forward.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:04 am

      Wow, that’s crazy. 😀
      What’s the book? I’ll check it out. We’ll work on his writing.

      • Susan @ FI Ideas November 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

        It’s called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck. An older book from 2007. The main idea is to develop the growth mindset rather than the idea that your abilities are fixed. The section for parenting comes to mind with your son. Good luck!

  • Dan K November 19, 2018, 7:44 am

    I’ve tried duck and goose during the holidays. Of course, I didn’t know how to cook goose and it was very fatty. You learn form your mistakes. This year, just a couple of game hens will suffice (only two of us at home).

    We’ve never shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Most of my Christmas shopping is done by Halloween, so all those promotions and savings mean nothing to me. I can stay home and relax from Thanksgiving to Christmas (hopefully, making money on my investments). Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:04 am

      I’ve never tried goose. We had game hens before and it’s good for two. Enjoy!
      Happy Thanksgiving week!

  • Jonathan November 19, 2018, 7:22 am

    You can install Google Play on them, and then you’ll be able to access all kind of apps. Here are the instructions on how to install Google Play on a Kindle.

    Oh. I didn’t know you can install/use regular Android apps on Amazon’s tablets.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:02 am

      It’s great. Once you install Google Play, you can do pretty much anything on the Fire tablet. $100 is a great deal.

  • Adam November 19, 2018, 7:09 am

    My first full-time job, seventeen years ago, was working for Ritz Camera — back when that was a thing. For many reasons it lasted only six months. And those six months were September to February, so I was in the trenches for the very worst of the tail end of pre-internet Black Friday shopping. NEVER AGAIN.

    For the last seven or eight years, my Black Friday tradition has been a fishing charter on the Chesapeake Bay with some friends and coming home with a cooler full of striped bass. It’s much more pleasant!

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:01 am

      That’s a great Black Friday tradition. Good luck this year!

  • Pennypincher November 19, 2018, 6:51 am

    Ps- Joe, you can go online and order replacement parts for appliances. They usually come w/a how to video. Save some $$.
    Not surprised about your stove issues. They don’t make stuff they way they used to. 10 years life expectancy now.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:01 am

      I looked at the replacement part and a refurbished board cost $200. It’s not worth it. A new stove is much nicer, but you’re right. It won’t last long. That’s too bad.

  • Pennypincher November 19, 2018, 6:25 am

    I like #1 the best. Ignore Black Friday! Many malls and big stores are shutdown/out of business around here. One word for it-Amazon.
    When Jr. is bouncing off the walls, it’s time to bundle him up and go for a nice looooong walk!
    Sorry to hear about your rough year, you are not alone. This too shall pass.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:00 am

      Thanks for your support. Have a great Thanksgiving week!
      We’ll go out tomorrow. Today is a lazy day for everyone. 🙂

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early November 19, 2018, 6:04 am

    Mmm I way prefer duck to turkey any day of the week. We don’t host though, so we’re just expected to bring a few side dishes, which makes it really easy.

    I’m fifteen years younger than you, but we still got docked partial credit for not showing our work; the idea was making sure we understood it the hard way before getting to take shortcuts.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 9:00 am

      Duck is so much better than turkey. I can make really nice Thai dishes with the leftover too. I love duck!
      I don’t think you’ve seen common core yet if you’re 30. It’s strange…

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance November 19, 2018, 6:01 am

    Sorry to hear that it’s been a tough 2018 for you and your family. We also had some challenges this year too. The most recent one was Mr. FAF’s team transfer. That really scared us.

    It’s great RB40 Jr. is good at math though. That’s a really good sign. I know he needs to show all the steps, but that’s fixable. I hope our kids will be good at math too. That will open a lot of doors for them. Writing doesn’t come naturally at first, but I believe RB40 Jr. will make lots of improvement. After all, his dad has a super popular blog hehe.

    Happy early Thanksgiving!

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:59 am

      Thanks for your support! It sounds like the new job is working out pretty well. That’s great! We’ll keep working on RB40Jr’s writing. 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving week!

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify November 19, 2018, 5:39 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Joe. I am firmly in the ignore Black Friday camp. I don’t like to shop in general and have to be in the right mood to be productive at it. It’s just so much easier to comparison shop on line and have it delivered. Tom

  • Young and the Invested November 19, 2018, 5:10 am

    Hey Joe,

    Black Friday shopping has thinned out quite a bit over the years exactly because of the online shopping availability. My wife and I go each year and walk around, but usually buy nothing. She did it as a kid every year with family while drinking coffee and wants to continue the tradition. Granted, we’re waking up at 7am to get to the mall by 8am. We’re not losing sleep over it.

    It’s a fun time of year and I know we plan to get ahead of the calorie deluge coming Thursday – Sunday by running a few times and lifting weights. Do you have any tendencies to overindulge during this time of year? Or do you have perfect restraint?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:58 am

      I think you’re right. It’s not as crazy anymore. But the shopping starts even earlier now, right? Thursday is another shopping day now. Crazy. Enjoy shopping. I hope it’s not too busy. I hate crowd…
      No, we’ll eat a ton of food this Thursday like everyone else. I’ll continue my fasting next week. 😀
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Half Life Theory November 19, 2018, 3:42 am

    Who doesn’t love to blow their hard earned money on crap they will never need in a few months… what are you talking about Joe? LOL

    I LOOOOOOOOVE black Friday shopping. Going to the mall, getting hit, shoved and possibly trampled on, isn’t that the dream? Lol

    Yeah, I think I’ll pass for yet another year 😉

  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE November 19, 2018, 3:04 am

    The only way I would shop on Friday would be online. Going out an actually dealing with that madness and the people trying to run you over in the parking lots. No. Way.

    I do understand that we preach about saving money, and there are great deals this weekend to do just that. So it’s sort of a dichotomy. But to me if you’re going to shop this weekend from the comfort of your own home is the way.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:56 am

      I’ll avoid online shopping this Friday too. I already spent my budget. 😀

  • BusyMom November 19, 2018, 2:31 am

    My son is the same when it comes to math. Writes down only the answers. But in his case, I am glad they force him to show the steps because when I ask him about how he came up with the answers, his reply is that it just appears in his head. Maybe he will learn to recognise what he is actually doing.

    I happened to go to the mall yesterday because I wanted a new winter coat. Looked like the people didn’t wait for Black Friday! I plan to ignore the ads – we may buy a Keurig coffee maker. My husband wants to sacrifice money (and our environment) for convenience.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:55 am

      The common core math is pretty strange, but I guess it’s supposed to make more sense to more kids. Our son is very fast so the old way is probably a better fit. We’ll see if he can adapt to common core.
      I’ve never been impressed with a Keurig. The coffee isn’t any better than our French press. It’s a lot more convenient, though.

  • Mr. Tako November 19, 2018, 12:15 am

    I never understood the need to go shopping on Black Friday either. Sure, maybe there’s some good deals, but nothing I actually need.

    Our kids are on a half-day schedule all this week, except for Thursday and Friday. It’s OK, but I feel like I just get home from dropping them off and then I’ve got to leave to do the pick-up again. Sheesh. First world problems eh?

    Sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough year Joe. Remember — you have a lot to be thankful for. Dealing with all that stuff would be 10x harder if you had to keep a boss happy and work a 10 hour day too!

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:54 am

      Really? Half day is pretty good. That’s better than the whole week off.
      I’m trying my best to stay positive, but my blood pressure is way higher this year than last year.
      That’s a sure sign of stress. I’m very grateful for everything. Life is still really good.
      Have a great Thanksgiving!

  • Lily | The Frugal Gene November 18, 2018, 11:50 pm

    Haha oh my gosh, I need those tablets, they sound great. My phone is already almost full of storage because I use so many apps. How did…I came away from this anti consumer post checking out and wanting a tablet…*was this a trap?!*

    Sorry again about your rough second part of the year. But you still should be so happy about how you’ve set yourself up in life and all you have done.

    I actually came here to re read your post about life stages recently because it was so good ? it makes me feel happy and relaxed.

    • retirebyforty November 19, 2018, 8:52 am

      The Fire HD is awesome. It’s pretty amazing how much $100 can buy today. 😀
      Amazon is subsidizing it so users will get into their ecosystem. We haven’t spent any money and just used free apps.
      Thanks for your support. Every comment really helps. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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