Will the “fiscal cliff” affect your Christmas shopping? Wal-Mart thinks so.

Wherever you turn, you can’t escape somebody talking about the “fiscal cliff”.  While most American’s are being inundated by the talk, there’s still a lot of confusion over whether and how it is going to affect us.

The timing couldn’t be worse for many of us, consumers and retailers alike.  The holiday’s are the biggest time of the year for most retailers, as consumers go on a shopping spree to show their love and commitment to their family and friends.

But, with the looming “fiscal cliff” approaching fast, and their being so much uncertainty as to whether our wallets are going to be picked even more by Washington come January 1st, the question is do we continue ahead with our shopping full steam ahead, or do we play it safe not knowing if our take-home pay is going to shrink considerably next year.

Wal-Mart, the leading discount retailer in the US has asked the question and the results are mixed.  In a recent article from Yahoo, Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke indicated that while 75% of the shoppers that they surveyed were at least generally aware of the “fiscal cliff”, only 15% indicated that they were going to let that influence how much they spent over the holiday season.

In an upcoming article, we will detail what the “fiscal cliff” will mean to you, but as a sneak peek, it isn’t pretty.

Our recommendation, especially with the cliff rushing towards us like a speeding bullet, is that more people should look closely at what they plan to spend.  The 15% number given by Wal-Mart, is simply too few people recognizing the potential disaster that is fast approaching.

However, it is a double-edged sword, if we do go over the proverbial cliff, the best course of action on a personal level is to make sure you conserve as much cash as possible until the uncertainty is settled allowing you the most options going forward.  On the other hand, consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the national economy, and pulling back at the exact time that retailers count on, could cause further downward pressure on an already shaky recovery, and further sink the economy as a whole.

No matter how you look at it, we are approaching some unsettling times that are going to sting for millions of Americans.

Are you planning on cutting back for the holidays because of the uncertainty of the fiscal-cliff?  If so, let us know in the comments below and what actions you are taking.

About Anthony Candella

Anthony is the founder and Directing Attorney of YourCreditAttorney.com and has been helping consumers just like you understand and improve your credit and financial situation since 2003.