Ho-Hum Holidays

How inflation might impact holiday spending

Inflation is trying to ruin the holidays. According to a new report, while American consumers think they’ll spend about as much as last year on gifts, there’ll be a lot less of them to go around.

As Money reports, inflation has caused the prices of goods and services to jump by almost 10 percent over the past year. That increase has consumers thinking twice about holiday spending. The same report found that of those who said they expect to spend more this year than last year, 51 percent cited inflation as the reason why.

And while some consumers said they would spend as much as last year, they also said the average number of gifts they’ll buy is about nine. Last holiday season that number was 16. Another 66 percent of consumers said they are going to cut back on spending because inflation has made things so expensive.

A separate study found that people are already adjusting their priorities when it comes to holiday shopping — respondents said price and value were the two most important factors.

If you’ve been worried about inflation impacting the holidays, there are ways to curb your spending.

  • Shop around for the best prices.
  • Make a list and stick to it.
  • If you’re going to use a credit card, have a plan for paying off the balance completely.
  • Exercise a little patience.

Studies have shown shoppers who start buying holiday gifts before Thanksgiving end up spending more than consumers who wait until December to begin.

Chris O'Shea

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