It’s that time of year again: The temperatures are dropping, football is coming down the homestretch, and ski season is right around the corner. It’s also the time of year where we stretch our budgets to the max in order to get our family and friends the very best holiday gifts we think they’ll love.

In this holiday edition of the SH&J blog post, we will review some interesting facts about the economics of the U.S. holiday season, as well as some tips that will help you keep your bank account feeling jolly after the new year.

  • According to the NRF, holiday retail sales are expected to grow around 4% over last year. Holiday sales have been increasing steadily by about 3% year-over-year since the financial crisis in 2008. By comparison, holiday sales declined almost 5% from 2007 to 2008.
  • Amazon continues its quest to take over the ecommerce industry. In a study conducted by research firm Survata, 72% of respondents said that Amazon would be the first place they look for gifts.
  • Tickle Me Elmo debuted in 1996 and was by far the hottest selling toy that year. It retailed for $29.99 in 1996, and original Tickle Me Elmo’s still in the box can be found on EBay for hundreds of dollars now. Talk about a return on your investment!

Holiday shopping can get very stressful if you don’t have a plan going into the season. Here are a few tips that will be able to help you become an efficient consumer this holiday season.

    • Do some preparation before you do any shopping. Figure out what everyone on your list wants and come up with a price point for each gift. This will give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to spend.
    • Be strategic about using your credit cards. If you are a responsible spender and you have a cash-back rewards card, be sure to use it on all of your purchases this holiday season. A poll conducted by Nerdwallet in 2015 estimated that consumers would miss out on $152 million in rewards by not using their cards during the holiday shopping season.

Hopefully, you are now a more informed shopper and you can tackle this holiday season with confidence. From everyone at Sharkey, Howes & Javer, we wish you and your families a very joyous holiday season!

Leave a Reply