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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Have a holly jolly shopping list? U.S. Holiday spending expected to reach record high

Have a holly jolly shopping list? U.S. Holiday spending expected to reach record high
Jack Jaminski

The holiday season tends to be one of the busiest times during a student’s year, whether that is studying for finals, traveling to see family, or buying gifts for family and friends. Holiday shopping has only been growing, and high school students should know what to expect.

The National Retail Federation expects US holiday spending to be between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion, a 3% to 4% rise compared with 2022. While this is a smaller rise than in previous years, it makes sense due to the damaging impacts of inflation on the US consumer, as well as the lack of stimulus checks which artificially boosted consumer spending in prior years. Still, in total, the amount is expected to increase, and that almost $1 trillion in purchasing buys much less than it did a few years ago. 

Another big shift has been where this money has been spent. Online sales are expected to reach between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion, an increase of between 7% and 9%. Many consumers feel that the convenience and variety of online shopping is much preferred to shopping at brick and mortar locations.

The most important decider in holiday spending was found to be the deals and promotions, according to McKinsey & Company, one of the largest consulting firms. This makes sense, with the crushing blows of inflation and stagnating wages, scoring a good deal is on the tops of consumers’ minds. 

Some people chose to take out debt for their holiday spending, whether that is in the form of credit card debt or Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options, such as Klarna and After Pay. It was found that 25% of US consumers were still holding debt from holiday spending last year, and that BNPL transactions increased by 43% since last year. While it may seem nice to get a larger gift, taking out debt surely isn’t a present to yourself.

To combat these pressures, make sure you keep a strict budget. It is the thought that counts with gifts, not the dollar value. Set an amount you are willing to spend, and pick items within your price range. If you don’t have enough to spend, don’t take out debt, and instead make a handmade gift such as a card and a batch of cookies, in order to still show your appreciation while saving some money. 

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About the Contributor
Jack Jaminski, Freelance Reporter
Jack is a Sophomore at Niles North. His passions include finance, investing, and computers. Jack’s greatest accomplishment was winning 1st place at the Illinois DECA State Competition in the Financial Consulting Event.

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