Holiday spending: How can we help?

If you're like most people, you are planning to scale back this holiday season. The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey predicts the lowest increase in planned consumer spending since the survey began in 2002. In addition, consumer confidence fell to an all-time low in October.

The NRF survey reveals that consumers plan to spend an average of $832.36 on holiday-related shopping, up what is described as a “paltry” 1.9 percent over last year’s $816.69. When you consider the fact that the consumer price index is higher by almost 5 percent over last year, the small increase in planned spending actually represents a decrease in buying power. Clear as mud, right? The bottom line is that we all need to think of creative ways to minimize the financial impact of this holiday season.

If you plan to change the way you approach the holidays, we'd love to hear from you. Our communication and education teams are busy preparing materials and tools to help consumers financially survive the holidays. What financial information or tools would be most helpful to you?

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.