How Holiday Prices Are Affecting Families


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Stressed shopping: A picture of a packed mall during the holidays, parents rushing around to different stores and families shopping for gifts, December 1, 2022.

          Around the country, many families are struggling to survive this Christmas season shopping. 2022, in particular, has been worse than recent years because of the feeling of returning to normalcy while still having high prices for goods. Prices for food and toys have seen the biggest increase because of the recent demand that has returned compared to COVID-19 shopping years.

          Better known as consumer spending, shopping frenzies like Black Friday and Cyber Monday help promote that last minute holiday spending for some, but just the beginning for many to spend for the holidays. The American commercialization of the holidays plays a significant part in how much the average person pays for all their holiday expenses over Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

          According to Investopedia, 81% of holiday shoppers expect to see higher prices for shopping for gifts and other goods. Many economists have figured that many consumers have saved their money from the pandemic, and even though they have spent that during the holidays, the money in the bank will spur them to spend. 

          Many are concerned that the Fed’s aggressive interest rate rises to curb inflation might cool down consumer spending and at the same time nominal wage growth is slowing more rapidly than inflation. This will impact consumer spending mostly because it would squeeze discretionary consumer spending. 

          Father of two and Foran science teacher, Mr. Mathew Wajda says, “We had what I’d call a ‘soft’ limit meaning we had an amount we wanted to end near but it wasn’t a cutoff value. It was lower than necessary by a little to be safe but it allowed us to be more flexible.”

          The importance of prices this shopping season has an impact on everyone, but families of four such as Wajda, are struggling especially, mainly because the quantity demanded is greater than quantity supplied.

          Wajda continues, “Rising prices basically led us to reevaluate how much we’re buying. Also, we spread out our spending so there isn’t a huge difference from month to month, we actually spent more in November than in December or January.”

          Taking a look at the difference of how much importance the rising prices can be to not just one person but to a family is significant because it tells the consumer that when they’re buying something, it’s key to know where else they might spend their money that might be cheaper. 

          AP macroeconomics teacher, Mr. Frank Tupka says, “When January hits, I can only predict that people will dial back on their spending, save more, and think more about how they’re going to spend their money.”

          When prepping for the holidays it’s always important to keep in mind that the holidays is a time to be thankful and grateful for the things that we have.