17 percent believe they will spend less this year. Many are stressed over gifts and even the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner...
Graphic courtesy of Morning Consult
A Morning Consult offers a First Look at Consumers' 2022 Holiday Plans
Financial Service: To avoid going into debt this holiday season, consumers are being smarter about budgeting in advance and are more likely to favor a BNPL approach to cover holiday expenses over opening a new credit card. Though shoppers are feeling inflation’s pinch, spending levels will look similar to last year.
Retail and E-Commerce: Consumers will be looking for the best deals and making compromises so they can keep their holiday spending in check. While that may have previously been good for Black Friday retailers, less than half of shoppers plan to to take advantage of the sale event.
Travel and Hospitality: Travelers will need to make tradeoffs to combat cost concerns. Americans are looking forward to holiday travel after two years of scaled-back celebrations, but cost has replaced COVID as an influential factor. To avoid overspending, travelers plan to shorten trips, bunk with relatives and leverage points and rewards to cover costs.
Food and Beverage: Purchasing holiday groceries will be a stressor for some, but most feel excited about celebrations. Despite inflation, most consumers plan on sticking to a consistent foods and drinks budget. Hosts from different generations approach their holiday celebrations differently, an important factor for brands to consider.
Stressed Over Groceries
Looking for Deals
As a result of inflation, 82% of shoppers say they intend to look for more deals and discounts, while 72% plan to look for less expensive alternatives.
Millennials, the generation most worried about their finances this holiday season, are most likely to seek these lower-cost tradeoffs.
56 Percent Plan to Give Gift Cards
Gift cards are practical. But cash is even more practical.
Regarding gift cards, I wonder "why bother?"
You give a gift card and get a gift card. Why not just stop the exchange and say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever greeting you prefer?
OK , if its a targeted gift card to a sporting goods specialty store the money goes to an designated idea. But what if the recipient would rather have something else?
Things like Harry & David fruit baskets, Omaha Steaks, and numerous cheese shops are ridiculously expensive for what you get.
My suggestion, other than gifts for your kids: Just stop. And tell your kids you don't want anything other than to see them more often if that is indeed the case.
Buy Now Pay Later
BNPL vs Credit Card
I don't understand this pairing at all. What does difference does a new credit card vs an old one make?
OK. For those who carry a balance, the initial purchase on a new card does not have interest for a month.
But if you are carrying a balance month after month, you are already spending too much.
Will You Spend Less or More?
Holiday Spending Plans vs 2021— Mike "Mish" Shedlock (@MishGEA) November 6, 2022
How much do you expect to spend?
Mish Suggestions and Tips
If you routinely carry a credit card balance, then look in the mirror and admit that you are a sucker.
Instead of giving or getting presents pay down your debt.
BNPL is a trap. You pay in installments, but with few exceptions you will be paying built-in credit fees that may be even worse than credit card fees.
Stressed over holiday groceries? Then make lasagna or stuffed shells or something you don't normally cook to make it special. Jumbo shells stuffed with ricotta cheese and pepperoni bits would probably look special, be very inexpensive, tasty, and provide as many leftovers as you want.
Slice and cook the pepperoni first and drain the grease. You can put some pepperoni inside each shell or cover the tops of the shells with pepperoni and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
Want another food suggestion? Try Rock Cornish hens stuffed with rice instead of a big turkey.
If you are stressed over groceries, then you have to be stressed over everything else as well.
My number one stress-reducing recommendation is simple: Just stop the gifts except for the kids, and then don't splurge.
Other than the kids, only buy what you can afford and would have purchased anyway. Then wrap it up if you want, and give it to yourself tagged from whomever. Then you get exactly what you want, no exchanges necessary.
For many, exchanging gifts is a stressful waste of time, energy, and money. So stop!
But if you can afford to exchange and it makes you happy, then go ahead. Be happy.
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