56 Million Americans Are Not Holiday Shopping in 2022. Should You Follow Their Lead?

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  • Holiday expenses can easily lead to debt.
  • Skipping out on holiday shopping could be an especially wise move this year in particular.
  • Consider cutting back or skipping your shopping if you're already carrying debt, lacking an emergency fund, or concerned about an impending recession.

It could be a good year to say no to holiday spending.

The holidays may be fun and magical, but they can also be overwhelmingly expensive. Even if you aren't traveling for the holidays this year, and even if you're skipping the decor that normally graces your front lawn, you might still rack up a whopping credit card balance in the course of buying gifts for the various important people in your life. And at a time like this, that could be a dangerous thing.

In a recent report by PYMNTS, a good 56 million Americans say they do not plan to do any holiday shopping this year. And you may want to follow their lead if these things apply to you.

1. You already have debt

It's common for consumers to rack up some amount of debt in the course of their holiday purchases. And while that's not ideal, if it's a small amount and it's paid off quickly, it's also not necessarily the worst thing in the world. 

But if you have debt already, then the last thing you'll want to do is add to it. Right now, borrowing rates are up, so it's more expensive to be carrying debt than it's been in the past. And so in that case, you're better off skipping out on holiday purchases and instead using your spare cash to chip away at your credit card balances.

2. You have no emergency savings

You need money in a savings account in case an unplanned bill pops up out of the blue and your regular paycheck can't cover it. You also need an emergency fund in case you lose your job and are unable to pay your bills for an extended period of time. 

If you have no money in your savings whatsoever, then your first priority should be to build up some cash reserves. And you're better off putting your money in the bank than using it to purchase gifts. 

3. You're worried about a recession

Financial experts have warned for months that a recession could strike in 2023. And that could lead to a huge jump in unemployment numbers. If that's a concern of yours, you may be better off using your extra money to boost your emergency fund and skipping things like gifts and holiday decor. Having extra cash reserves could buy you peace of mind during these uncertain times.

4. You're struggling with inflation

Inflation has been driving living costs upward for well over a year now. Even if inflation hasn't driven you into debt, it may be a struggle to cover your bills now that all of your expenses have a higher price tag attached to them. If that's the case, skipping out on holiday shopping could give you more financial breathing room. It could also help you avoid having to skimp on things like groceries due to money being tight.

Forgoing holiday shopping isn't an easy thing to do. But it may be a necessary one for you. If these scenarios apply to you, you may want to decide that 2022 is the year you won't be making any holiday purchases.

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