Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

Even if she A chaotic year, most Americans still plan to celebrate the holiday season. However there is a big difference from last year’s celebrations.

US News and World Report ran a survey from October 29 to November 3 and asked consumers if their financial plans for the holidays had changed from last year’s plans. More than 33% of survey respondents say they will spend less than in 2019 due to the impact of the epidemic.

Take a closer look at consumers’ holiday spending plans for 2020.

How much do consumers plan to spend?

About 52% plan to spend less than $ 499 on gifts, food and drink, travel costs, and decorations. This is an increase from 2019, when 48% of consumers were planning to spend less than that amount on similar expenses.

  • The $ 21 is planned to cost between $ 500 to $ 999.
  • Over 10%, which is down about 1.5 percentage points from 2019, will cost between $ 1,000 and $ 1,499.
  • About 6% will cost between $ 1,500 and $ 1,999.
  • About 3% plan to spend between $ 2,000 to $ 2,499.
  • There are plans to spend between $ 2,500 to $ 2,999 less than 2%.
  • About 7% plan to spend $ 3,000 or more.

Are consumers financially prepared to spend the holiday?

When it comes to finances, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that about 35% of the respondents had saved all the money needed to pay for the holidays. And 24% had at least started saving money for holiday expenses.

But here’s the bad news: More than 41% of survey respondents had no money left for the holidays this year. This is only slightly higher than last year’s results. In 2019, 40% did not save any money for holiday payments.

When asked how they prepare for holiday shopping expenses, there are some smart strategies to choose from:

  • A little under 31% plan to use the shopping list to stay on budget.
  • There will be a holiday budget at exactly 28%.
  • About 26% plan to compare prices and sales.
  • Over 8% plan to earn extra money for expenses.

I recommend using all these strategies, even if you have money left over. Why not save more? And if you are really hurting financially due to the epidemic, then note that plan to make more than 8% to earn extra money. Keep this in mind as there are many businesses that will hire seasonal help.

Are consumers using credit cards for holiday shopping?

In the 2019 survey, more than 33% of consumers said they would use a credit card to pay for holiday shopping. In this year’s survey, exactly 35% say they will use credit cards.

It is understandable that credit card usage will increase for the 2020 holidays, as about 36% plan to shop online at major retailers such as Amazon. This is an increase from 2019, when around 33% of consumers plan to shop online. Given the epidemic and apprehensions of crowded public spaces, it is not surprising that online shopping is even more popular this season.

Here are more conclusions about shopping options in 2020:

  • 16% plan for shopping in small businesses.
  • About 9% plan to shop in small online businesses.
  • About 8% plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, such as Macy’s.

If you use a credit card this season, try to make full payment by the due date. The survey shows that 39% of card users are not going to keep a balance on credit cards, which is great. Less than 7% say they will keep a balance, but more than 14% say they are not sure whether they will pay a balance or pay by the due date.

How to get quick cash this holiday season

Unless you are going to inherit a fortune during the next month, you will need to spend some time and effort to complete it. I know you can do this!

Let’s take a look at four ways to avoid holiday expenses:

In the survey, only 25% plan to capitalize on credit card rewards to help reduce holiday expenses. If you are using a rewards credit card, check your rewards balance. You may have enough rewards to redeem them for gift cards or merchandise. Or if it’s an option, you can get a statement credit and pay for your purchases that way.

Also, find out if your credit card issuer has issued a Online shopping portal. You can often get deep discounts from these online malls. Only 2% of survey respondents plan to shop on the online portal. Many credit cards offer shopping portals, including Airline branded card.

Don’t forget about amazon Shop with points program. If your credit card is included in the program, you can redeem the rewards while shopping on Amazon. But I warn you to read the fine print. There are some credit card rewards that are of little value if used in this way.

This is a great strategy if your cash flow dilemma is a short term issue. You can get a credit card with an introductory 0% purchase annual percentage rate. This means that you can do holiday shopping on a credit card and pay the monthly balance over the course of a year or more.

Guess what else? During the introduction period, which is usually 12 to 18 months, you do not pay any interest. As I said, if you are expecting relief soon, this is a great way to get an interest free loan.

Holidays are prime time for temporary jobs. I know this is tough if you are avoiding going to the shops, but there are many opportunities to stay home, such as being a COVID-19 contact tracer or conducting an online survey. If you do not make the least contact with others, distribute food for DoorDash or Uber Eats.

If you want to create a new income stream beyond the holidays, ask yourself a question: what is my Super strength?

All have a set of marketable skills. For example, if you are an excellent writer, explore some freelance editing or writing. Or check out opportunities to sell your products or services on platforms such as Fiverr, eBay or Etsy.

This is the easiest strategy of all. You most likely know who will be buying you a holiday gift. Boldly ask for a cash gift.

Bonus tip: Make sure you tell the person how much you’ve loved their gifts in the past, so they don’t think it means you hate all of their holiday gifts!

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