As the holiday season gets closer, it’s time to really start thinking about how to spend those hard earned dollars. Before heading out on your shopping adventure here are a few things to consider.

How much are we spending? - This year analysts are already predicting that the high income Americans will be the big spenders this year while the middle class may continue to watch their wallets. High end retailers like Coach and Gucci are increasing their inventories in preparation for the holidays. For those shoppers who might be looking for more variety Wal-Mart or Best Buy is an option; however these companies are expecting to do a little more work to get the customers to their stores. One online survey that was conducted indicates “respondents with household incomes of less than $50,000 said they'd spend an average of $490.33 this season, down 1.2 percent from last year. Those with household incomes of $50,000 or more said they'd spend 2.9 percent more than in 2009, an average of $942.12”.

Who has the best deals? - The deals are starting early this year. Stores like Kohls and Best Buy are advertising with great deals now instead of waiting until Black Friday or later. It may not be necessary to get up in the wee hours of the morning and wait in line on Black Friday for that new TV or toy. But you may get the best deal on a new computer or lap top on Black Friday according to one article. The article also indicates that since the weather has been seasonable warm, cold weather clothing sales are starting now.

How are we going to pay for this? – Cash or Credit. Analysts indicate people doing their holiday spending may use their credit cards less this season. This year 40% of Americans said that they would not use a credit card this holiday season, according to one article. During these hard times, people are more wary of using credit cards to add to the mounting debt load.

Have fun shopping.
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Lindsey Fandozzi

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