Creating a Happy Holiday Season without Breaking the Bank

Posted on 23. Nov, 2009 by in Business and Economics, Thomas Lin

Thanksgiving is this week and with it comes the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

Black Friday is traditionally the day when retailers break out their best deals in hopes of filling their registers with consumer cash. Consumers routinely line up at stores as early as 4 a.m. the morning after Thanksgiving to snag some of the deals on electronic, computers and household goods.

However, this year might be a little different. A recent Associated Press poll found that 93% of shoppers say they’ll spend the same amount or less on gifts as they did last year. Eighty percent also said they’ll only use cash to pay for gifts, meaning they won’t have as much to spend.

While they numbers may show that retail sales will be down in 2009, they also show that consumers are learning to spend smarter after dealing with the effects of this recession.

This renewed focus on saving doesn’t mean that consumers will be any less stressed when it comes to gift giving. The AP poll shows that 20% of consumers are anxious about the upcoming holiday season and the need to spend money on gifts.

Graduate students are not immune to the anxiety that comes along with the holidays, especially because the semester will wrap up only days before Christmas. Sure, the break will be nice, but what hard-working J-Schooler has the money to spend on gifts for family and friends?

How are you planning to spend the holidays this year? Will you fight this crowds this Friday and take in some of the deals or are you looking for alternative ways to share the holiday spirit with friends and family? Give us some of your creative ideas for gift-giving and how you’ll manage the holidays on a student budget. Your fellow classmates will thank you!

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