NEW YORK (12/16/14)--Consumers' thoughts and actions during the holiday shopping season--and the recent survey done by the Credit Union National Association and the Consumer Federation of America--were the topics of a Bankrate.com podcast Monday.
CUNA Vice President of Economics and Statistics Mike Schenk told "Your Money This Week" that despite the fact that consumers always say they are going to spend about the same or less than the previous year, they don't cut their shopping.
"It's almost an innate thing. They know that they should be cautious, so they say they're going to be cautious. And then they go ahead and spend a little bit more," he said. More than half of this year's survey respondents said they would spend about the same as the previous year, while a third reported they would reduce their spending.
Mark Hamrick, Bankrate Washington bureau chief, asked Schenk what tactics consumers could take to prepare for holiday spending.
Schenk suggested comparison shopping and shopping earlier. "If you find yourself waiting until the last minute, more than likely the stuff that you originally planned on purchasing will be unavailable or in short supply, and therefore, you more than likely will either end up buying something else that costs more or buying the same item at a higher price," he said.
Other tips include:
CUNA and the CFA released their 15th annual holiday spending survey results on Nov. 25. The annual holiday spending survey generates a lot of media attention each year and this year was featured by such news outlets as CBS Money Watch, Detroit Free Press, Cronkite News, American Banker and by local news affiliates. CNBC, ABC Radio and Voice of America attended the press conference, and several interviewed both CUNA's Schenk and the CFA's Stephen Brobeck individually.