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Corona Comfort Buying: It is Real and It is Preventable

Corona Comfort Buying: It is Real and It is Preventable

In the midst of a global pandemic and all the hardships of social distancing, it is important to find comfort in the familiar. Hobbies and personal interests are good ways to channel pent up energies (because gyms are closed) and unrelenting anxieties (because this thing is crazy on so many levels). But there is one first-world habit that should be curtailed at this time: retail therapy.

Even as millions of people are unemployed and unsure of how they will pay their bills, online shopping for non-essential goods and services has risen significantly in the last eight weeks. People are buying things they believe will make sheltering at home easier; they are looking to alleviate the pain of all the unknowns. If pre-corona shopping featured panic buying of unnecessary amounts of toilet paper and canned goods, the real-time corona is being marked by impulse purchases and increased spending on luxury items (alcohol being at the top of the list).

This behavior is dangerous for those who already struggle with financial health; it threatens even those who know how to handle their money, but are struggling to find strength and control in these uncertain times. There are many things driving this behavior, chief among them is boredom. Nobody has anywhere to go or anyone to spend time with, so they are finding solace and excitement in the online retailers. Getting a package delivered during this outbreak is giving people the thrills they would have found elsewhere, in healthier activities, before the pandemic.

The most important thing any quarantined shopaholic should do is identify their triggers. If the new sweater purchase is being fueled by anxiety, or the new kitchen appliance is being considered because of boredom, it is time to take a break from the screen. Another critical step is finding alternative ways of getting the same satisfaction. Exercise, meditation, laughing with a friend, or even cooking a wholesome meal, can provide the same rush as spending money. Wish lists are also a good way of curating desired items without actually spending money. By putting the item on their list, consumers feel like they are one step closer to owning it, but giving themselves time to think about the actual purchase.

Budgeting is the most strategic way of fighting against corona overspending. Build a budget that allows for some splurging, but not excessive squandering of cash. Financial advisors recommend limiting online purchases to a specific dollar amount or number of items. The goal is to train the stuck-at-home, looking-for- comfort consumer to buy one thing OR the other, but not everything in their cart. Setting specific times for online shopping also reduces mindless browsing. Staying focused and realistic about immediate needs, versus wants and long-term nice to haves, ensure intentional shopping.

This is certainly a challenging time. Take steps to stay physically and fiscally safe to ensure your wellbeing now and in the future.

New York Tech Celebrated at Blockchain Weekend

On the weekend of November 7-10, New York City was busy with the inaugural BlockchainWeekend NYC 2019. In partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), BlockchainWeekend highlighted projects from a variety of NY based companies, startups, and entrepreneurs. More than 50 events took place across all five boroughs, creating a networked platform for decentralized… Continue Reading

NYC to Track Vacancies, Support Small Businesses

New York City is building a database of vacant storefronts to help small business owners find appropriate spaces. The city’s rising rents and recent trends favoring online shopping have resulted in a vacancy crisis. The five bills passed in July 2019 as part of this effort require yearly reporting on storefront vacancies, updates on the… Continue Reading

Statistics Point to Hard Times for US Economy

We keep hearing that the economy is recovering, if it hasn’t already recovered, from the disastrous economic climate which began with the crash of 2008. Yet many Americans still feel insecure about the future. They are not imagining things: hard statistics unfortunately supports this negative feeling. •    The middle class is getting smaller while the… Continue Reading

Consumer Confidence Up, Economy Chugging Along

The Commerce Department released its latest figures for retail sale and restaurants, showing a rebound in September after a slow start to the year. The retail and restaurant sector posted a 0.2 percent monthly gain in August, and an annual increase to date of 2.2 percent. Analysts believe that retail sales improvement is all that… Continue Reading

Economy Unsure of Where Its Heading

September inventory and sales figures are helping renew optimism in the economic recovery after August figures fed fears that the economy was entering another slump. August’s bad news was found in the miniscule 0.1 percent rise in business inventories. August’s tiny rise was the smallest in over a year. August sales also fueled skepticism with… Continue Reading

As Economy Recovers Recession Mood Lingers

Despite data showing that the US economy grew at its fastest rate in eight years during the second quarter of 2014, Americans still believe that the country is still in the midst of a recession. The economy swelled during the Q2 at an annualized rate of 4.6 percent, duplicating the fastest quarterly growth since 2006.… Continue Reading

Holiday Spending Boosts Stock Market

Consumers are showing some renewed enthusiasm and driving economic growth. In fact, stocks rose on Monday to record highs. The Dow is up 73, and the S&P 500 rose 9 alongside a 44 Nasdaq increase. The boost was supported by gains in Apple and Facebook, according to CNBC.com. Daniel Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG,… Continue Reading

Companies Struggle to Raise Pricing

Though many businesses in the U.S. are hoping to raise their prices, many will have to weigh their options before implementing any changes. Walt Disney Co. is one of the few examples of companies who have successfully hiked their prices since 2009, recently raising its single-day admission prices to U.S. theme parks by up to… Continue Reading