After all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales activity, it seems there was a lot of optimism about people being willing to open their pocketbooks and spend their money. There was such a frenzy of crazed shopping, akin to “running of the bulls” that mobs were running rampant and people got hurt trying snag “hot deals.”
In the next day or so, the media was joyfully reporting that sales records were topped as a record number of shoppers opened their wallets to take advantage of discounts.
Is this evidence that the economy is improving? Not so fast. At times I feel there is a disconnect on how people behave, how things are getting reported, and how things really are. On the one hand, unemployment remains high, the economy appears to have slowed down, yet people are rushing to the stores! But are they spending their cash or buying things on credit? If they are running up the credit cards, then that is not such a good sign. If you take a closer look, there is really no change in the overall outlook in the economy and things remain bleak.
Even Jim Cramer is warning about a financial collapse. When even some mainstream media types are worried, I hope the rest of the population take notice and put the brakes on spending especially on credit.
It would not be a bad idea to cut down on extra holiday spending and set aside some cash and preps instead. I’m not trying to be a Scrooge but there are a lot of ways to celebrate Christmas and spread cheer without getting into debt or over spending:
- Giving gifts of time instead of more stuff
- Volunteering and helping the less fortunate
- Agreeing to forgo the expensive gift exchange or setting limits on gift amount
We can all enjoy the feast, but it would be wise to set some supplies and cash aside to avoid the famine.