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To Spend, or Not to Spend

A recent survey by Roanoke College, sponsored by Atlantic Union Bank, shows consumers are leaning towards spending now instead of later because of uncertainty about future price increases.

Prices of durable goods are rising due to an increase on tariffs on Chinese imports. They could rise again this holiday shopping season if trade disagreements aren’t resolved, which might not bode well for those looking for shiny new smart phones and video game consoles.

58% of Virginians surveyed believe that now is a good time to buy large durable items due to both rising income and concerns that prices will rise with tariffs. 81% think prices will go higher five to ten years from now.

So, how should your family navigate your spending? Given that some financial institutions are cautioning their clients that the tariff war could cost households $1,000 annually, it’s a good idea to have a strategy when it comes to your spending in the coming months.

Here are 3 tips to consider before opening your wallet.

  1. Save before you spend.
    Be sure to you have an “emergency fund” set aside that won’t be dipped into for any upcoming purchase. In general, your family should have a minimum of three months’ worth of living expenses saved.
  2. Price vs. quality.
    In the case of large purchases, make sure quality comes first. Ensure your big-ticket items such as a washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, or a car, will last. Do your research. You don’t want to replace a major purchase soon after you bought it because you were looking for a bargain and went the cheap route.
  3. Avoid impulse purchases.
    Think it over before you buy. Employ the “24-hour rule.” Give some time to consider whether it’s a good buy. After 24 hours, you’ll probably have either talked yourself into making a good purchase or out of making a bad purchase.

In the midst of growing economic uncertainty, it’s also a good idea to visit your local bank and discuss your finances with an Atlantic Union Bank financial advisor. As always, you should also discuss major financial decisions with your family to make sure that any purchase is the right one at the right time.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice. Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only. We believe the information provided here is reliable, but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness.

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