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Wildcat Chronicle

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Jonathan Says: Holiday expenses are overrated; keep your money instead

As holiday expenses continue, it is best to refrain from opening the wallet during the spree.
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Holiday shopping used to be one of the most fun spending sprees anyone (of any age) can experience. Remember when families used to go all out for Halloween, purchasing spooky animatronics? Or think about Christmas, and seeing those beautiful, bright Christmas lights. While there is no way the purchase of those products will ever disappear entirely, nowadays, it may be a lot friendlier on the wallet to skip spending precious money and time on holiday shopping.

Inflation is a huge problem for those who love to holiday shop. Since Nov. 22, about 65% of holiday products have increased in price by 8 to 12%. While such a “jump” may not seem like a big number increase, it could wreak havoc on one’s account when purchasing in large quantities. Whereas that $5 ornament for a friend suddenly costs $5.60 with inflation, a $ 100 holiday purchase now comes in at $112. Multiply that increase by the number of gifts one has to purchase during the holidays, and suddenly, everyone wants to “cut back” on gifts this year. Inflation, over the years, has gotten way worse and puts a damper on families trying to enjoy the “holiday” mood.

“The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, conducted in October, found that the average amount of holiday expense debt is expected to be around $1,100 in 2023. That’s the same amount of money consumers are expected to spend on gift-giving, up from $1,000 in 2022. Spending on travel is projected to average $1,200 in 2023,” Vance Cariaga, writer for Yahoo! Finance, said.

The choice to pare down holiday purchases is not easy, though, as customers feel pressured into buying a decoration or product for the theme of the holiday. Approximately 63% of Americans say that they feel pressured into committing the purchase or else they will not feel socially accepted. In a way, such pressure is the customer’s fault – not the corporation’s. While brands may be the ones upping the prices of their items, little does the end consumer know that big corporations use this method of overpricing holiday goods because they are certain customers will buy whatever they put on the shelves. 

Even if those decorations are cute, Jonathan Says it is best to keep from spending (unless the products are cheap or create family bonds).

“The results suggest that time pressure has a positive relationship with impulsive buying, with an affective rather than cognitive focus. Moreover, the relationship between time pressure and affective (vs. cognitive) impulsive buying is mediated by perceived value,” Binbin Sun and Yu Zhang, researchers for Science Direct, said.

Holiday goods, especially decorations (like silly signs that declare “Easter Bunny, stop here!” or shamrock wreaths for the front door), are not worth the purchase in the slightest. The enjoyment of the holidays usually comes from a singular motive: spending time with family. Not only does spending time with family cost nothing, but it is also considerably more enjoyable and will last until the grave comes knocking on the door – not the leprechaun.

The future of holiday expenses will continue to grow if inflation gets worse. For now, refrain from spending money on any of the products unless they are “to die for.” And, if a deal is spotted, take it before anyone else can. 

 

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Saucedo
Jonathan Saucedo, Opinions Editor
Jonathan is a junior at West Chicago Community High School. He joined Journalism last year and has learned many important lessons - especially that deadlines can be tricky. This year, Jonathan is an up-and-coming opinions section editor. He is grateful for this position and his ability to be a leader for the Chronicle. Besides Journalism, Jonathan loves the draw/sketch (although he may not be good at it, he draws in his free time and during school when classes get a little boring). He also has a very sociable personality and can talk to people very easily, but when it comes to a presentation, he kind of falls off. His goal for this year's JPro class is to at least publish 25 assignments over the course of the year. Well, the task may be tough, but he believes in himself and so should you. Oh, and another one of his goals is to find a job. Over the summer, he went on a job hunt, but a lot of businesses declined, leaving Jonathan sad and broke. He is excited for Journalism and cannot wait to be a part of the team all year long - and next year, as well, when he becomes a full-on editor and the last of his peers. 
Alexa Morales
Alexa Morales, Features Editor
Although Alexa is a senior at WEGO, she is the captain of the dance team. Something unique about Alexa is that she was an exchange student in France for a week and a half last spring. Alexa's favorite music artist at the moment is Lana Del Rey. Looking ahead into her future, Alexa is planning to go to college to be a nurse.
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