Today is the most lucrative shopping day of the year, as more people than ever before head out to the malls in pursuit of discounts. With plenty of stores offering holiday events, it makes sense that some Americans are burning through cash faster than ever before. On average, a holiday-shopping trip will cost a family of four $343.54, based on how much money they spend on gifts and other holiday-related purchases. Some retailers get an even larger discount by paying up to a third of that amount. To keep your holiday trips affordable, the simplest solution is to stay home. But as data-driven marketing expert Simeon Hyman told us, that may be easier said than done.
Tracking Payment Limits
Credit card transaction limits can be about as easy to get through as a red light. But one year in sales later, some Americans have overcome those limits so they can finally afford to shop their way through the season.
The amount of control an American parent can have over their kids’ finances varies dramatically with the number of credit cards he or she owns. Credit limits vary from family to family based on family members’ ages, overall income, how often they pay their bills, and the overall debt levels of the entire family. But no matter how the limits are structured, American parents tend to have more latitude than their retail employees.
The 20 Biggest Retail Chains in the U.S.
Macy’s is the most common brand name for family-friendly goods with Walmart coming in a close second. Macy’s and Walmart lead the way with 30% and 30% of Americans, respectively, purchasing their merchandise. But the rankings don’t end there. Ralph Lauren, Pottery Barn, and Gap are the three brands shoppers find themselves saying “I love it!” to.
A mom shopping for her kids’ clothes is likely a group that is regularly targeted by other brands. And Amazon isn’t the only site that has begun manufacturing affordable apparel for children. Even the smaller online retailers are cashing in on this trend with brands like Athleta (29%) and Wildfox (24%) rising in popularity.
Considering your needs, you might be in a position to start scaling back your spending, particularly if your kids don’t help foot the bill. Simeon Hyman cites previous research that proves income and spending can be correlated positively with each other. But you can’t blindly just assume lower income translates to lower spending power. It turns out that the ability to make hard decisions about spending is important. Choosing to buy items in half or quarter sizes will save you money that you don’t have to pass on.
Before Saving, First Analyze Your Plan
If your children spend more than you do on a per-unit basis (more than they are worth), then starting to slice your spending in half (e.g., let them share a $20 bill instead of buying themselves the $50 they want), could help. Aside from payment limits, you should still have some say over your children’s spending habits by eliminating certain “buzzwords” that kids often use to get free stuff.
The holiday is a great time to cut back on costs. But make sure that you are also making the best financial decision possible. The money you are putting toward holiday shopping now will put into your budget in the future. And knowing what you are saving now will help you keep that holiday vacation you had always dreamed of at the top of your priorities.
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