1. Scaling Back on Christmas Giving?

    According to a recent poll published by Consumer Reports, more than a few of us plan on cutting back the spending this holiday season:

    Not surprising, consumers tell us they plan to watch their dollars carefully, continuing a trend that began in 2008. Planned spending may be down slightly this year, according to the poll; one in three consumers say they’re cutting back on purchases, while more insist they’ll commit to a budget this year (52 percent vs. 47 percent in 2010). And, once again, the bargain hunters will be out in force: 44 percent of respondents feel that getting a good deal is more important now than it was in 2010.

    Yeah … about “bargain hunters.” If you believe that a “good deal” means camping out in a Best Buy parking lot for multiple weeks in advance of Black Friday, well, more power to you, I guess. I just can’t relate.

    But back to Consumer Reports:

    But take some of those numbers with a grain of salt. However noble their intentions, shoppers tend to underestimate their spending. Leading up to last year’s holidays, for instance, respondents anticipated spending an average of $457 on gifts, but in actuality ended up spending $556 — 22 percent more. Moreover, 45 percent of those who made a budget last year exceeded it. Five percent went over budget by a lot.

    …Unfortunately, too many consumers still carry too much debt for too long. As of this month, 6 percent of Americans – around 14 million people – were still paying off their credit-card purchases from the 2010 holidays.

    Obviously, those Six Percenters haven’t heeded my annual admonitions to save up for Christmas throughout the year via some sort of Freedom Account concept. Tsk tsk.

    Because if they had, then Christmas 2010 would be just a (hopefully) nice memory, instead of a monthly Citibank bill with accruing interest!

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  2. 1 Response to "Scaling Back on Christmas Giving?" ...

    1. On November 21, 2011 @ 7:37 pm,
      Kim wrote:

      Even the “anticipated spending an average of $457 on gifts,” is too high for my budget.



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