The Commerce Department says spending is up — the best showing since a big 1.3 per cent jump in August when the government’s cash for clunkers program enticed people to buy cars. Nancy Granovsky, an economics professor with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service, thinks consumers are undergoing a mind-shift that less is more.
“We have seen all year long the increased number of Web sites, blogs, television programs, radio programs that emphasize the ‘less is more’ kind of concept and looking at ways in which we can institute maybe some traditions for the holidays that don’t cost as much, that bring friends and family members closer together and essentially allow people to reflect on the real meaning of the holidays.”
Granovsky says it goes back to shopping basics — be armed with a shopping list.
“We ought to live within our means, buy only what we need, but on these extraordinary opportunity days, as I would call Black Friday, and this year retailers have really stepped up their efforts to make good bargains available for folks even earlier, but having a list is still a good idea. Otherwise, one might be wandering as a child might through a candy shop—seeing things that really don’t fit into the budget, but appear to be too good to pass up.”
Granovsky says people should ask themselves how expenditures might differ if they could use only cash as opposed to using credit.