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January 14, 2022

Shopping, but not spending

By Dawn Cuthbertson, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Friends excitedly told me about the steals they were finding in stores after the holidays: items marked down 50-70 per cent and good sales at retailers notorious for never having them.

I admit I was curious but in an effort to keep my savings account growing, I stayed away.

Until Saturday.

After spending most of a day at my friend's place having fun for free, we both needed some fresh air. As we dressed for the sub-zero weather, we knew we'd be putting our "no shopping" willpower to the test.

My friend lives at the corner of Yonge and Bloor within Toronto's upscale shopping area, Yorkville. For two twenty-somethings who like to shop but can't afford to, it's like putting ex-gambling addicts in a casino.

The rumours were true. Sale signs hung in every store window advertising significant price reductions that I haven't seen in my time as a consumer.

I expected the stores to be swarming with shoppers looking for deals but they were eerily empty. The sales staff nearly outnumbered the customers, a picture drastically different than just six months ago.

The scene made me remember a story I read on this site about Canadians showing signs of "recession psychology." Instead of spending in the market place, Canadians are hording their money in fear of losing their jobs. Or maybe they've just received their investment portfolio statement. For many, that's enough of a shock to consider stashing their savings under a mattress.

My friend and I agreed that the sales were good – but not good enough – for us to part with our hard earned cash.



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