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Americans share ways inflation impacts holiday spending

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 19, 2022

Almost seven out of ten Americans said inflation will impact their holiday shopping this year.

While most holiday budgets remained the same, more than a third of people said they plan to cut back on the number of people they buy gifts for, according to a survey conducted by Attest and provided exclusively to Scripps.

"Americans are likely to receive far less bang for their buck due to inflation," said Jeremy King, CEO of Attest. "Holiday budgets are flat, but prices are going up, so people are having to get thrifty instead."

Some people surveyed said they will participate in more gift exchanges this year, or that they plan to buy from more secondhand stores.

Others said they will shop early to capitalize on earlier deals advertised at major retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

"It actually really makes a difference," said Amy Goodman, a shopping expert with Dirt Cheap. "Retailers are offering more discounts across a broader period of time because they know we're holding on to our money. They want to give us multiple opportunities to warm up to the idea."

Goodman said she typically recommends writing out a holiday budget in November.

This year, she said many shoppers should consider drafting a budget even earlier, so they can be prepared for discounts throughout the final quarter of the year.

"Then, during checkout, ask about return policies and price-matching opportunities," Goodman said. "Now you have the gift in-hand. It's less stress because you have it. And as you go deeper into the holiday season, if there is a price reduction, you will qualify."

Goodman stressed that preparation is key to avoid last-minute lines at the major department stores.

She also pointed out that a simple walk in the woods or hot cocoa night can be enough to create warm memories of the holiday season.

"All of these tips really lead to less stress during the holidays," Goodman said. "We are already concerned and nervous about spending and our money. When you get started early and tackle these lists one by one, it means you can enjoy time with your family more deeply."