Squeezed by inflation, families are tightening their holiday budgets
A November Quinnipiac poll found 47% of Americans have less in savings than they did just a year ago.
The same poll found 42% plan to spend less on gifts this season and only 8% plan to spend more.
Overall holiday spending hasn’t slowed yet, according to the National Retail Federation, but many families are making sacrifices to buy presents for their loved ones.
Janette Duvall, a school bus driver in Maryland, is relying on coupons for the first time to afford gifts for her family.
While inflation is squeezing her budget, she wants to make sure her kids have something to open on Christmas, even if she can’t buy anything for herself.
“I will do whatever I can, but I will, of course, look for something cheaper this year,” she said. “Not everybody will have the same quality of gift they used to get.”
In a Gallup poll this month, 55% of Americans said rising prices have caused financial hardship for their household, and 13% say that hardship is “severe.”
Second-grade teacher Lindsay Cook said her family has been living paycheck to paycheck for the first time.
For months, she and her husband, a school security officer, have been dipping into savings and using credit cards to keep up with higher prices on food, gas, energy, as they take care of their two children.
Recession concerns are also impacting family spending.
Karissa Warren spoke with CNN in March when she could barely afford to fill her gas tank because of surging fuel prices.
With gas prices down, and after receiving a raise at work, Warren felt more secure heading into the holidays.
Then she received news that she’s getting laid off from her job.
“It just kind of blew everything up,” she said about her budget. “Now, it’s like, anything extra is out of the question.”