Budgeting to enjoy the 2021 Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching, which provides a primary reason to examine our monthly budget. We are looking for excess cash to spend on decorations, holiday foodstuffs, and funds to spend on presents for family and friends. Some of us are lucky enough to have a savings account specifically for these holidays. We always plan on not running up our credit card balances which may be at the max considering we are coming out of a pandemic. As soon as we determine our holiday budget, we can look for retail deals.

How far will your dollar go this holiday season? For years industry leaders have awarded large bonuses to their top executives every year. At the same time pushing for a need to lower labor rates. As a striking John Deer employee says, “We are tired of them taking our money.” 

One almost has to say they have lowered, slashed, and renegotiated labor fringe dollars to the bone. It’s as if they say the corporations’ executives deserve a big yearly bonus and the workers are on their own.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers increased 5.0 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. That means we are paying $1.05 more for goods this year than the even $1.00 we paid last year. Laughable, isn’t it? From our perspective, we are paying $1.25 more, depending upon the consumer item, than the previous year. In other words, the Consumer Price Index is always lower than the reality in the retail outlet. Sometimes my budget tells me that I may be spending more than a twenty-five percent increase depending upon the consumer item.    

As labor proposes a couple of percentage points in the maximum pay increase, we may not realize the exact number—specifically, the 5% increase in consumer goods from last year to this particular year. The growth covers food, appliances, gasoline. You name the product. More than likely, the price has increased within the last year. Are you traveling this year? Reportedly rental car prices are 66% higher than last year.

How about the amount of product you get in packaging? You have to consider the shrinking product amount in the package. It’s a clever way for the industry to save money, thereby increasing profits by selling the public less product for the exact cost.

The economy of supply and demand still affects our budgets. The formula says when supplies are low and demand high, the result is an increase in pricing. However, that is still not the only reason for rising prices. For example, the pandemic was a primary reason for the demand for more supplies.

The issue is always the same. If you are aware of the rules, you can play the game. In this case, you can select foodstuffs that will feed your family until the first of the month rolls around in thirty of thirty-one days. Oh, you may have to substitute certain items for others. You may not be able to buy certain brands of foodstuffs you are used to serving your family. As the old folks say, a little money goes a long way if you pay attention to your spending budget. The price of gas rises every time the oil companies have extra expenditures. Say like a spill they must clean up or that old tried and true one. We must shut down certain oil-producing outlets for maintenance.  

But then, when does the average consumer get a break? That is the larger question. Along comes a Democrat that tries to help the average consumer. You’ve heard of the president’s infrastructure bill. He is practically run out of town on a rail car for mentioned helping the ordinary family. Media, owned and managed by rich folk, tear apart his program. Who’s going to pay for it? Why should they get free stuff? Tell the freeloaders to earn their keep and buy what they can afford as we all must do, the well-to-do advice. Yet, they don’t realize that providing a lesser-earning person a safety net that allows them to contribute to the tax structure or economy daily is better for everyone.

Some are too busy reading about conspiracies. Others are not listening to their voices, or they would hear them suggest processes that haven’t worked for ages. These are the extreme opinionators. Somehow the commonsense approach gets buried beneath the unworkable rhetoric pushed by the rich and powerful.      

Finally, Social Security is playing catchup by providing a 5.9% increase to seniors. You can expect to see that raise in January of 2022. It’s based upon the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). Put it this way, the COLA average for 2015 through 2020 was 1.33. So, an increase to 5.9% is a big deal. We won’t go into how that figure fits your budget, like increases in health plans to name one. Let’s say it is welcomed and leave it at that. Somehow, we have made it through the year. We always manage to buy a hamburger at Wendy’s or In and Out occasionally. Let us hope we can put more democrats in congress since they are the only ones willing to spend money on the little consumer.  

Meanwhile, we are determined to have a happy holiday season. We will adjust our spending accordingly. So, to one and all, happy holidays beginning with Thanksgiving from the Hampton’s. We are excited to be here to enjoy the season with you from afar.

Peace, blessings, stay healthy, vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II                                                                                                   Author & Commentator

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment