Saving money around the holiday season is a very common theme this year and retailers are doing their best to entice consumers to open their wallets with sales and discounts that many thought we would never see.
Many, if not all, online stores are offering free shipping and the savings on non-essential items like video games and electronics is virtually unheard of.
Many traditional retailers are offering incentives on financing. Just what a nation that has lived on credit for the last ten years needs – more debt. I do believe that the main stream media, with a the constant barrage of negativity toward the economy, has scared the average person into saving more money. (The only good thing the media has accomplished over the last few months.)
Some recent statistics show that many Americans are not taking on any credit card debt this holiday season and that is certainly something that has changed from recent years. With mortgages getting harder to qualify for, the importance of a good credit score has finally hit home with American consumers.
Many consumers have also said that they are planning to spend significantly less money this holiday season overall. Again, a profound change from the overspending that plagued recent years.
Will this Be Lasting Change?
One has to wonder if these changes will become habits that will last and be ingrained in the generation like the spendthrift and frugal survivors of the great depression era, or if the ideals of the recent “have it now” ideology will return with a vengeance at the end of this economic downturn.
I must say that I personally do not know which one is the lesser of the two evils? There must be a reasonable balance between spending and saving that will both benefit the economy and businesses as a whole and the individual. That is the balance that we seek as a society.
Today’s Investors Will Benefit
I am certain that this economic downturn will offer today’s young investors, who continue to buy stocks, an opportunity at wealth in their later years.
No matter how much money you spend this holiday season, I urge you to not only look in your favorite stores, but look at them as well. Who knows, the best bargain you find this season may be that beaten down retail store stock you’ve always shopped at!