Christmas spending expected to decline this year

By RealWV staff,

One in three Americans are expected to cut their Christmas spending this year, according to a new national survey by WalletHub.

Because prices are up and people have less disposable income, the result is expected to be less spending. Retail sales fell nationwide over the fall, and analysts expect it to continue throughout the holiday season.

Highlights of the national survey include:

  • 34% of Americans are not giving any presents this year due to financial pressures
  • Half will buy fewer presents for children than last year
  • 25% of Americans are still paying off debts from last year’s Christmas
  • 19% will apply for a new credit card to help buy gifts this year
  • 28% will spend less overall this year
  • Half will give less to charity this year

In the Bureau of Labor’s “South Region” of the United States, which includes West Virginia, the consumer price index fell in October slightly. Contributing factors include a decline in gas prices and a decline in electricity rates. However, food costs from major grocery stores rose during the same time.

The consumer price index is as low as it has been since October 2021, though, leading analysts to hope the steady decline will continue and ease the financial pinch consumers are feeling.

On a poll posted on RealWV social media with more than 300 votes, 52% of respondents said they will spend “a lot” less on Christmas this year. Another 22% say they are spending “a little less” this year. In total, 74% report spending less on Christmas this year than in the past.

Becky Bailey says spending less isn’t all bad news, because it will help teach kids that the holidays aren’t about consumption. “Sit down with your family, eat a nice meal, and stop putting yourself in debt to prove your love,” she says.

Bonita Weller said she will spend less this year, as a matter of principle. “It’s not that I don’t have the money,” she says. “It is the greed of pricing.”

If you’re looking to make Christmas memories this year but are feeling financial pressures, consider a growing alternative to giving presents–sharing experiences with friends and loved ones. According to WalletHub’s national survey, 30% of Americans are planning to share an experience this year instead of giving gifts.

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