Will Inflation Cast Cloudy Outlook on Black Friday?
With the upcoming holiday season, inflation will hit consumers in the pocketbook, along with a looming recession. Everyone wants to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones while staying afloat. As Black Friday is getting closer, there may be consequences for both shoppers and retailers. With the increased cost of everything, retailers hope shoppers will still partake in the traditional Black Friday sales.
What is Happening?
Inflation has hit an all-time high this year, cutting people's savings and decreasing retirement plans. With everything going on, many people will be stressed about their wallets. As the biggest sale of the year draws near, experts, retailers, and shoppers have a hard time predicting how this big day will play out.
On top of inflation, the U.S. is also in a recession, with over 100,000 employees laid off from startups this year. A Bloomberg News survey of 40 economists in late October 2022 found that 75% expected a recession in the next 24 months. From a worldwide perspective, the International Monetary Fund forecasted in mid-October that “the worst is yet to come, and for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession.”
Prepare for Battle
With the gloomy economy, many shoppers are uncertain about their holiday spending. While people let inflation and the looming recession take their course, consumers are finding ways to make smart money moves to their buys. Since inflation and the recession is something no one can control, managing your finances can be managed by you. It's impossible to avoid Black Friday since everyone buys Christmas gifts. You can still participate in the biggest shopping day with these strategies.
Start with a Plan
You can't dive into war without a plan at hand, can you? Before the big day comes, you need to take the time to establish your shopping plan and see what you need to get for yourself and your beloved ones. If you want to shop and save, try using browser extensions that can help maximize your discounts and cashback sites.
Cut Some Spending
Some people will begin to tighten their belts, so to speak, and watch their spending more closely. According to DealNews, 38.6% of the 236 respondents expect to spend less than last year. If you want to cut your spending, there are multiple strategies you can implement in your life. Some cost-cutting measures include:
· Looking for sales, using coupons, and buying in bulk
· Saving gasoline by combining errands into one trip
· Carpooling to/from work
· Reducing or eliminating restaurant meals or fast-food delivery
· Planning smaller-scale vacations, staycations, or temporarily postponing vacations
· Postponing expensive purchases that may require a large payment or borrowing credit
For those who may carry more than one credit card or carry a large credit card balance from one month to the next, rising interest rates can be crippling. For some people, paying down debt may have become a higher priority months ago when interest rates began to climb. Strategies to pay down debt include paying down the highest balance or the smallest balance to eliminate that particular monthly payment. Don't add more debt by swiping your credit card because that is not a smart move!
Many retail stores offer similar items with the same deals, but there will always be one store that makes buying a better choice. You may find something at Kohl's that you like, but you may find the same item from Target. If you are a frequent shopper at Target, you can use the Target RedCard to save 5%, which makes it a better perk. You always want to have options before making a finalized purchase.
How will you know what you are buying if you don't plan? If there is a list of items you want, you can write it down and compare the prices when deals start rolling out. This way, you can see if you are getting a good deal or not. You have a better glance at what you want to purchase because you can see the price difference. Planning helps you from overspending, saving you lots of money.
Join Loyalty Programs
There are many free loyalty programs out there, so sign up for those to get deals, exclusive offers, and more. You want to take advantage of these amazing sales or promotions. With everything being pricey, no one likes to buy anything at its original price anymore. If you can save a dollar or three, you can use that dollar or three for something else.
Set Up Price Alerts
If you shop at a particular store or a favorite brand, you want to set up notifications when a deal or sale is going on. Shoppers love to get their favorite things when there are great deals and sales. After Black Friday and your shopping period is over, you might want to turn those notifications off before you spend more money.
Use Cashback Apps
In addition to credit cards, apps like Fetch, Sweatcoins, Swagbucks, and Rakuten can help you earn some money back. People love to have free money to spend on their holiday shopping. It's never too late to start adding these apps to your phone.
Let’s Become Savvy Shoppers
The extent of Black Friday shopping is a personal decision. Consumers will each determine how much their financial situation will allow them to spend this year compared to previous years. With good planning (making a list, researching online beforehand, and sticking to a budget), Black Friday shopping can be successful without going overboard in spending. Whatever situation you are in, remember to shop smartly!
She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.