There are some moments in one’s life defined by a specific sort of ‘enlightening’ event during which you just suddenly understand what someone with whom you previously interacted with has had to deal with in their lives, like one of your school teachers perhaps, or even your uni lecturers. That’s that moment when you can almost literally see the satisfaction filling up inside of them when they witness one of their students go through that “ah-ah” moment — that moment when the light which they’ve been trying to turn on finally switches on.
As someone who preaches wise spending habits, perhaps even almost to the point of proper penny-pinching, I felt like quite the schoolteacher or uni lecturer myself when I came across some news about how nearly half of shoppers have become savvier with their Christmas spending habits. It’s refreshing to say the least because it brings to light something I’ve been fighting to expose for quite some time now, that being how the consumer just doesn’t know how much power resides in their hands, so long as they can take control of their spending habits.
In the featured study which brings to light these statistics, commissioned by myvouchercodes.co.uk, 42% of shoppers demonstrated this newly found Christmas spending astuteness by resolving to cut their spending. This is the percentage of people who admitted to be trying to save money, while over 55% of the participants hadn’t changed their spending habits.
One of the leading reasons given by those who indicated they were trying to cut back on their spending and save money was that of merely trying to get one over the impending and ongoing price increases. There’s been quite a bit of uncertainty as to how far the markets will move in the direction of increased prices, but the general feeling is that the prices are definitely going to move in one direction — up. Brexit in particular is a major source for uncertainty around wages and job security, which makes a further analysis of the results of the study that much more interesting.
More than half of the polled respondents (56%) indicated to be relying on their wages for all their costs associated with Christmas spending, while 30% indicated that they’d be making use of credit cards.
In an ideal world I would love for everybody to band together and decide to cut down on their Christmas spending, not because I have something against Christmas and the festive cheer to go with the season, but rather because I can clearly see what collective impact people’s savvier buying decisions have. This is where the sheer power contained in the hands of the consumer doesn’t seem to be utilised to its full capacity.
Take the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for instance, where there’s a mad rush to take advantage of what are seemingly even crazier discounts. This year there isn’t quite a rush, but retailers are dancing to the tune of consumers because they’re keeping their prices low in line with those consumers who are choosing to spread their Christmas shopping over longer periods as opposed to impulsively rushing to take advantage of the supposed big discounts set for certain days only.