Our View

by Simpsonian Staff

Everyone is being more conscious of how much money they are spending this holiday season. The economy is still not as stable as it used to be, and people have less money to spend. This is especially true for college students who have limited incomes. We are all talking about spending less money on gifts or even making gifts for our friends and family members.

Retail stores have been worried about how the current condition of the economy will affect sales for the holiday season, and many have come up with numerous promotions to lure customers into their stores. Some of those promotions were completely different than anything that has been done before, and made Black Friday even more of an event than before. Several stores offered Buy One Get One Free promotions. Some offered highly discounted items such as hoodies.

But even though everyone talks about spending less and less and about how tight money is, if you were out and about on Black Friday, you wouldn’t have been able to tell that the U.S. is in the worst recession since the Great Depression. The lines were extremely long and started forming hours before stores opened. The police were even called to one Des Moines store when a fight broke out. And people spent. And spent. And spent. Granted, some used cash and probably had set budgets for presents, but many others stuck with everyone’s go-to payment: credit cards.

Those students worried about their bank account balances and having money to spend on gifts this year even got a chance to cash-in on the extra sales volume of the retail industry this year. Because of the higher traffic that goes through the malls and other stores during the holiday months, most stores hires extra employees to make sure that each customer walks out the door with a bag full of presents and a lighter wallet. And the extra hours mean more pay for those that have the “misfortune” of working during the holiday season.

No one needs to go crazy spending on presents, especially college students. So sit down and do some thinking. Come up with some thoughtful, inexpensive or even home-made gifts to give. They’ll mean a lot more and won’t break the bank.