Tis the season to spend a little money. And this year, it appears that spending will be up. With unemployment rates staying low and consumer confidence flying high, the National Retail Federation reports that Americans plan to spend about 4.1 percent more during the 2018 winter holidays than they did last year.
The trees are trimmed, Alexa is playing the best of Burl Ives’ Christmas songs, and the scent of warm cookies fills the house. With more spending money in your pockets this holiday season, you are ready to shop, wrap, and give. Your mind is full of lists, plans, and ideas for making this the best Christmas ever. But, have you given much thought to your preferred shopping style and how it effects your budget, bank account and stress level? Which type of shopper are you?
You started your list in mid-June while the kids danced through the sprinklers in 100-degree heat. A pink Power Wheels convertible for the adventurous Anna Grace, a mini-trampoline for the always energetic Jordan, an unnecessarily large gas smoker for your ambitious husband, and so on. Staying true to your planner nature, you’ve followed the sale papers and you know where to find the best deals. Because you know what you’re planning to spend, you’ve socked away a little bit each paycheck into your club savings account in order to have the cash at Christmas.
While the rest of America scrambles to finish their holiday shopping in mid-December, you’ll be sipping cider by the fire in the cozy fuzzy socks you snagged with your department store customer loyalty points.
The Pack Rat
You think you have a solid shopping plan going into the holiday season. You’ve scrolled through Amazon to check out their daily deals and you’ve taken your kids through the toy aisles to see what they gravitate to most. However, despite that somewhat put together list that floats around in your head, you find yourself buying a little bit here and a little bit there, not bothering to match your purchases to your original plan. You stash your finds in various closets around the house and underneath the beds. In doing so, you quickly lose track of the items you’ve purchased.
When it comes time to wrap, you find yourself in shock and awe over the amount of gifts in front of you. “How did I manage to buy all of this stuff?” you wonder. You go back over your account statement and realize how much your collector shopping method really cost you. When you call to lament with your best friend, she tells you all about how she finished her shopping weeks ago and is now sipping cider by the fire in the most amazing fuzzy socks.
You are soaking up every ounce of the Christmas spirit...except for the shopping. Ideas for gifts have quickly popped in and out of your head, but you just aren’t ready to commit to them yet. There is plenty of time left to do your shopping, and you intend to take it down to the wire. Whether you are gunning for the best deals or just tend to delay the inevitable, you most likely won’t set foot in a store until at least the final week before Christmas.
In a frenzy, you’ll rush around town to purchase gifts for your loved ones. Or, you may choose to brave the closest Walmart or Target with the goal of finding everything you need under one roof. When the one toy that sweet Tyler wanted most this year has already sold out, you call your sister in a panic. “Don’t worry,” she tells you. “Somehow I picked up two super speeder racers, so you can have my extra one.” Breathing the biggest sigh of relief since the Y2K panic didn’t pan out, you head over to her house to shop from her stash.
Can you identify with the Planner, the Pack Rat, or the Procrastinator when it comes to your holiday shopping style?