Here are my notes I was holding in my hand:
American parents are expecting to spend an average of $1,711 during the holidays, according to the Rubicon poll, compared to $1,383 in 2015.
JOSH: If this is true, this is an off-the-charts explosion in consumer confidence. $328 increase? During the recession, by comparison, we were below $100 in spending.
And generally speaking, their kids are the lucky beneficiaries: The survey indicates that parents will spend $495 per child during the 2016 holidays, up 25% from the year before.
This seems exceptionally high!!
According to a new survey from the Rubicon Project, nearly one-third of all consumers and one-half of American parents started their holiday shopping before Labor Day 2016.
JOSH: I’m a bit surprised by this. Figures last year put this @ 40% before Halloween. But I’m a fan – and I’ll explain why I *want* shoppers to buy Christmas gifts year-round:
1. Reduces financial stress of doing all the shopping in one month
2. Reduces the likelihood shoppers will put it on a credit card. (Usually around 40% finance Christmas shopping this way)
In December of 2011, 14.1 million Americans reported that they were still paying off debts from the previous Christmas. If only minimum payments were made on that credit card balance, it would take seven years to pay off and an additional $1200 in interest.
3. Allows you to shop with your left-brain (analytical) – without all the madness that retailers will heap upon us.
4. Avoid the crowds – duh.
5. Find deals on items that might be clearance or special offers that may or may not be repeated during the holidays
6. Even if you do get a great deal that is better, often retailers will give you up to 30 days to price match if you find a better offer – and refund you the difference.
7. If you have more flexibility during the holidays budget-wise, you may be able to do a bit more self-gifting on the deals you find.
8. Keep the holiday season focused on family and perhaps the true meaning behind the holidays as opposed to shopping.
I would wait for traditional Black Friday deals (even if you don't shop BF):
Electronics, small appliances, gift sets like DVD collections, computers, and probably most gadgets.
Everything else, I would just be mindful and snatch it up if you think it's a great deal now. I just got a new 64G iPad for $399. I don't think this will go lower during the holidays – because this is a very recent $100 drop in price already.
Gift cards are the #1 Christmas gift. You can find some bonuses that make purchases pretty great – but if you want to get started, PLEASE use GiftCardZen.com. I just bought 3 restaurant gift cards for 15-25% off each!