It's official. Everyone in America has decided we should be just like the Federal Government. Get up and keeping adding more zeros to your debt because it just doesn't matter. Remember that movie many years ago starring Bill Murray called Meatballs when he began the chant it just doesn't matter . . . it just doesn't matter . . . it just doesn't matter? Well, unfortunately for most of us we can't get away with piling up debt like the Government does today. It does matter. Even though the media has tried to get us all excited that things are picking up from a record Black Friday and Cyber Monday, get ready for them to report in January about the lingering effects of people spending money that they didn't have this Christmas because they were all just tired of feeling so beaten down from the past couple of years of tough times.
Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving reached a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released Sunday. A record 226 million consumers shopped in stores and online between Thursday and Sunday, up from 212 million last year. Individual shoppers spent more too, the National Retail Foundation said. The average holiday shopper shelled out $398.62, up from $365.34 in 2010. (source: www.money.ccn.com)
Cyber Monday online sales, according to IBM's Coremetrics report were up 33 percent over 2010 and 29.3 percent over Black Friday. comScore is reporting that Cyber Monday sales reached a record 1.25 billion, up over 20 percent from last year, to become the heaviest online sales spending day in history. According the Wall Street Journal, this is only the second time a billion dollars in online commerce has occurred in one day. With over 15 billion spent online already for the holiday season, this is a 15% increase versus the same days last year. (source: www.techcrunch.com)
What does all of this mean? It means that many shoppers went to the office Christmas party (a retail store down the road), drank way too much (pulled out their overused credit cards), said what they should not have said to the boss (well, I am only going to be alive once), and now are feeling the effects of a nasty hangover the next day (what did I spend so much money I don't have?). The problem will be the lingering effects of the debt they carry into 2012 and spend the rest of the year working it off.
If you want to make a smart money move for 2012, talk to your family about a fixed amount on what to spend on each other so you can start saving and planning for the holiday season right when 2012 kicks off. Get a separate account set up where you can put away $10 or $20 a week into a side fund so you can use cash to pay for your gifts next year instead of over leveraging on credit. There is still time to return items if you know you've put yourself into debt from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don't make your January like the movie The Hangover and wake with financial sunburn when the ball drops on New Year's Eve.
Go to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a consultation with the leading financial experts for people in their 20's, 30's, and 40's in the country.
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.
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