For many, money is still tight and there has been significant ‘belt-tightening’ when it comes to holiday spending this year. According to a survey from Bankrate.com, disappointing sales during Black Friday coupled with minor increases in income have prompted a reduction in consumer spending, with a staggering 38% of Americans planning to cut back and spend less this holiday season.
The 1.3% increase in average hourly earnings over the course of 2013 have not proven to be enough to warrant any extra festive spending, with a reported spending reduction of $59.1 billion over Black Friday weekend this year, a trend continuing throughout December. Because of this, retailers have chosen to extend their deals throughout the month of December, a good tactic seeing as consumers are delaying their holiday purchases – as of December 16th, consumers had completed 44% of their shopping, a decline from previous years. As current sales and discounts are failing to meet consumer expectations and demands, new aggressive sales and marketing strategies are being implemented by corporations to encourage further spending. Walmart introduced “Gold Monday” this December, introducing a new series of online sales for consumers, with Amazon unveiling their interest-free installment plan for their Kindle Fire HDX tablets.
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Are you one of the 20% of consumers feeling uneasy about their level of debt? Then take a look at our Money Saving Tips for the Holiday Season…
- Make a Plan – To fail to plan is to plan to fail! Writing down a list of anticipated spending along with each person you need to buy for, will lower the likelihood of any impulse purchases.
- Budget! – It is never too late to start budgeting. It is important to not only set a budget, but to stick to it.
- Bargain Hunt – Take advantage of offers, discounts and coupons and save those extra $$$’s. Sites like retailmenot.com and couponcode.com offer promotional codes to be used on shipping or against the price of your order. Additionally, compare prices between different stores to find the best bargains!
- Homemade Gifts – Whether your talent is baking, knitting, or painting, now is a great time to put it to good use! It is not only a good money saving technique, but also adds sentimental value to your holiday gifts.
- Save for the Sales – The best time to take advantage of the holiday sales is after Christmas, so if there is anything on your Christmas list that can wait, let it wait!
- Pot Luck Christmas Dinner – Not only a good saver of time and money, it really alleviates the pressure of having to solely prepare and cook the dinner for the entire family during the holiday season.
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And…last but by no means least, for those thinking of filing for bankruptcy; let us take the pressure off this holiday season. Affordable Bankruptcy Courses offers the required pre-filing Credit Counseling Briefing available in English and Spanish, at $15 only per household – whether you file individually or with a spouse. Our web-based briefing is easy to navigate and provides customized feedback based on the information you supply. 2014 is your time for a fresh financial start—let Affordable Bankruptcy Courses help you fulfill your requirements.