The Financial Weight of Christmas Shopping and How to Combat

As we creep toward Thanksgiving, one can’t help but think about holiday sales (on top of food of course!). What sale will grab your attention first? There are plenty local and online options to pick from, but before you make your decision, I want to present you with some eye opening Christmas shopping statistics and leave you with ways to combat them. First are ten statistics I’ve chosen to highlight.

  1. 61% of people are planning to shop before Thanksgiving this year. (Statista)
  2. $1,300 was the rough 2019 holiday debt with a majority of that from Gen X and Millennials. (Magnify Money)
  3. 70% used credit cards over other financing options for the holidays last year with 78% not planning on paying off the full balance within a month. (Magnify Money)
  4. 61% of people in the U.S.A. were willing to provide personal data such as email address for a deal/discount over the 2019 holiday season. (Deloitte)
  5. 1/3 of people overspent on their 2019 Christmas budget. Within that, gifts were by far the highest category and were almost triple the next one. (The Ascent)
  6. Almost 22% went into debt from Christmas 2019. (The Ascent)
  7. 73% of shoppers in 2019 spent 1/4 of their expenses on clothing. (Deloitte)
  8. 61% admit to receiving an unwanted gift last year with a low 31% of those gifts being kept. (Finder)
  9. 43% of unwanted gifts in 2019 were clothing and accessories. (Finder)
  10. What Christmas 2020 is looking like… (Deloitte)

Keep in mind, the goal is not to not shop, but to enjoy the process and make it as effortless, efficient, and memorable as possible. To help with that goal, I’ve listed 10 recommendations below that will help your mind and wallet going into this 2020 holiday season.

  1. HAVE A FINANCIAL PLAN. What is your budget? Are you paying up front or overtime? Do you need to get any planners or resources that you can use to proactively support your payoff plan into 2021? Will you need support with a credit card or a loan? Start looking at how to minimize any interest you main gain from this holiday season based on your current financial health.
  2. Gift exchanges, aka Dirty Santa/Yankee Swap/White Elephant. This way only one gift is purchased, however, you still get to experience Christmas cheer with multiple friends and/or family at one time.
  3. Go out of town or on a mini-vacation with your loved ones and have no physical gifts in mind. The real gift is getting to wake up somewhere cool and explore somewhere new with those you love around you.
  4. Take a friend out for dinner and/or drinks. I recommend splitting the bill so that both parties throw in on a joint “gift”/occasion.
  5. Hold a Christmas meet up after Christmas or New Years. A lot of sales and opportunities to get something good at a lower budget.
  6. Hold a pot luck dinner. This allows different cultures and traditions to shine. I often learn more about someone through a dish of their choice.
  7. Don’t be afraid to purchase second hand. There are plenty of outlets both online and local to help with this. Facebook market seems to be good for quick local finds and easy information on the sales person through their personal page. Great option for that vintage person in your life.
  8. You don’t have to buy everyone a gift. Go ahead and have that conversation and tell that person how much you feel about them. They have a better chance of remembering that over the picture frame you regifted.
  9. Try to combine holidays. If your friend has a big birthday or event coming up, let them know that you’d rather give one bomb gift later instead of two smaller ones for each event.
  10. IF PURCHASING FOR SELF: Purchase gift cards from places you know you need. These are often discounted at this time of the year. This is a proactive tip that will help reduce your costs when you go to the Walmarts, Home Depots, Targets, etc.. I do not recommend spending them right away, but instead tuck it away for a rainy day in 2021.

Overall, Christmas shopping is stressful. Having a plan entering the season will really help keep you on task. Don’t get trapped into an impulse purchase. The high is amazing for the moment, but hurts your future financial growth soooo much more if not strategically purchased. If you need any support to get a holiday plan together, feel free to reach out to me or any other party of choice to help you through this time.

XOXO – Mrs. Molly Murphy

collect moments not things quote
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