ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With Cyber Monday here, the busy holiday shopping season is well underway, as Americans look to get the best deals of the season. But with the crunch of inflation continuing, many are adjusting their habits this year compared to years past.
A RetailMeNot survey found that around 55% of people were planning on shopping for Cyber Monday, second only to earlier deals like Prime Early Access, and ahead of Black Friday.
But with inflation leading to higher costs across the board, it’s a holiday shopping season that could be full of uncertainty.
“Everything’s through the roof, it’s crazy, it’s insane. We will do a little shopping, but not like we usually do,” said Lucia Mitsios, co-owner of Pearl Street Diner in Albany.
Mitsios has felt the squeeze from the difficulties of running a business over the past several years, with the impacts of COVID, inflation, supply chain shortages and other challenges.
“We’re trying to keep the diner afloat right now, that’s the issue. We do a lot of donations, we do a lot of charities, but the way that everything’s going, it’s really hard to try to keep anything right now,” she said.
Mitsios isn’t the only one planning on scaling back spending this shopping season. RetailMeNot predicts an 8% decrease in consumer spending this spending season, from an average of $786 to $725.
A majority of those surveyed said they would be buying fewer things, while many also said they’d use more coupons, scale back gift giving and space out purchases, with 70% of respondents indicating inflation would be taken into consideration.
But not everyone is letting inflation change the way they shop for the holidays this year.
“I do all my holiday shopping way before the holiday,” said, Cristine LaPais, who says she’s excited to spend a “normal” Christmas with her family this year.
Even with historic inflation, financial experts say consumer spending has remained relatively strong. However, Americans have begun tapping into savings more, as well as carrying larger credit card balances.
With holiday shopping well underway, experts warn against so-called pressure buying.
“That’s where people end up in trouble, where they have an idea in their mind, hey I can spend $1000 this holiday season, and they come out with $2000 on their credit card, and that’s when they’re in trouble when they get that bill in January,” said Marc Agel, Certified Financial Planner at Albany Advisor Group, noting that a budget is important going into this season.