It’s an epic time to be in the cattle business right now. After a few tough years with high feed, fuel, fertilizer, and land costs, beef prices are finally matching the increased price of our inputs. Yes, 2014 has really helped prop up the optimism among cattlemen.
In good years, some ranchers look to pay off debt and save for the leaner times ahead. Meanwhile, others see the opportunity to expand the operation, update equipment or make long-delayed purchases for family living. With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, there might even be a little extra spending money for a few more presents this year.
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According to American Research Group, Inc., “Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $861 for gifts this holiday season, up from $801. Planned gift spending will slightly exceed spending in 2007, a first since the recession. Average planned spending peaked in 2001 at $1,052. Average planned spending has recovered from $417 in 2009, with average planned spending for 2014 slightly above average planned spending of $859 in 2007.”
In my household, we plan to spend about the same as previous years, with the exception of shopping for our baby Scarlett’s first Christmas. Thus, there will be a few extra gifts under our tree this year.
This week’s poll at beefmagazine.com wants to know what your Christmas spending plans are for 2014. With 38 votes in so far, 39% of respondents say they plan to spend about the same as last year. Another 37% plan to spend less, 16% will spend a little bit more, and 8% plan to spend a lot more.
How about you? Are you planning to spend more on Christmas gifts this year? What about holiday parties? Will be you more frugal this year, or will you splurge a little bit more? How have the cattle markets impacted what your spending plans are? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Finally, don’t forget to enter our Greeley Hat Works photo contest.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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