Business Travel Tips: Strategies for Reducing Expenses on Your Corporate Trips

Business travel trips provide the opportunity to network, meet clients face-to-face, attend conferences, and explore new markets — plus, they tend to be pretty fun. However, business trips are also a significant expense, often representing a substantial portion of a company’s operational costs. On average, companies spend around $799 per person per day during a business trip. That’s not cheap — especially if your company sends multiple employees on a few trips each year.

The good news? There are plenty of tools and strategies available to make corporate travel more cost-effective. From planning and booking to accounting and reimbursement, each stage of the travel process provides opportunities for optimization. Let’s explore six business travel tips that can help your company make the most out of its travel budget, ensuring that each trip is not just essential but also cost-effective.

1. Plan Ahead and Set Budgets

The early bird does catch the worm, especially in the world of corporate travel. When it comes to booking your flights, sooner is always better. Last-minute flights are typically more expensive — and the earlier you begin comparing flights, the more likely you are to score the best deal. The same is true for accommodations and transportation. It pays to book early — literally.

While you’re making arrangements for flights, hotels, and rental cars, it’s a good idea to go ahead and set a travel budget. A well-defined travel budget can serve as a guide for your employees, empowering them to make financially conscious decisions during their travels. By establishing clear parameters on spending ahead of time, you can prevent unnecessary expenditures and instill a sense of financial responsibility in your team.

2. Leverage Rewards and Loyalty Programs

Every trip can be an opportunity to earn for the next. Signing up for loyalty programs allows companies to accrue points or miles while traveling for business that can be redeemed on future bookings. Over time, these savings add up, empowering you to essentially pay for your travel by traveling.

It’s also smart to establish a company travel policy. A travel policy is a company’s rules and procedures that define and regulate business travel arrangements and employee expenses. A travel policy benefits employees and businesses alike, providing more autonomy and flexibility over the booking process, promoting fairness, and limiting unforeseen expenses during travel. Pro tip: Looking into a company credit card that automatically tracks and controls company spending during travel is a great way to monitor expenditures in real time — ensuring no one is overspending.

3. Utilize Technology for Savings

Business travel is still incredibly important, but modern technology can help you connect across borders when airfare is out of the budget. The advent of reliable video conferencing tools has made virtual meetings more effective than ever, and by switching to virtual whenever possible, companies can eliminate some travel-related costs altogether.

However, when it’s time to close the laptop and hop on a plane, leveraging travel apps and tools that compare flights, accommodations, and transportation prices can ensure your business always gets the best deal. Some travel management tools will even book the trip for you!

4. Take Advantage of Expense Tracking and Reimbursement Software

Manual expense tracking is not only a tedious and time-consuming task — it’s prone to errors. Harnessing the power of expense management software ensures employees can easily report and get reimbursed for expenses, and you can accurately monitor and record them.

Encouraging employees to use mobile apps to log expenses can streamline the reporting process. A tool that offers easy receipt scanning can especially be beneficial, ensuring that nothing gets missed and the submission process is seamless. Plus, a seamless and digitized expense tracking process means less work for you when it’s time to reimburse employees.

5. Encourage Cost-Conscious Behavior

A penny saved is a penny earned, and this adage holds true for business travel. Here are a few ways to cut back on costs by empowering your employees to be cost-conscious while they travel.

  • Set meal allowances: Establishing a daily meal allowance can help regulate food expenses and allow employees to enjoy their meals without splurging. Plus, having a predetermined meal allowance can streamline the expense reporting process. Employees won’t need to keep and submit every single meal receipt, saving time for both the employee and your finance department.
  • Encourage shared accommodations: Platforms offering shared lodging options for groups can be a game-changer. If multiple employees are traveling together, consider this to cut down on costs. Not only does it reduce the financial burden, but sharing accommodations can also foster team bonding and camaraderie. Plus, shared spaces often come with communal areas that can be used for impromptu meetings or brainstorming sessions.
  • Utilize public transportation: While it might not always be the most convenient, public transportation is often a fraction of the cost of taxis or rental cars. By familiarizing employees with public transit options in their destination city, you can drastically reduce transportation expenses. Using public transportation can also offer employees a more local experience of the city they’re visiting, potentially boosting their overall trip satisfaction.

6. Evaluate Travel Necessity

Questioning the “why” before every trip can be enlightening and cost-effective. Before approving travel, managers should evaluate its true necessity. Will the trip contribute to business goals or can its objectives be achieved differently? Sometimes, sending one representative instead of a whole team or conducting a seminar online can be just as effective as sending multiple employees on a trip — and it’s far less costly.

Final Thoughts

Travel is essential to many businesses, bridging gaps, forging alliances, and driving growth. However, the misconception that effective business travel equates to exorbitant costs is just that — a misconception. By embracing these business travel tips and cultivating a culture of cost awareness, your company can navigate the complex landscape of corporate travel, ensuring that every trip is productive and economical.


Elevate Your Style with MEN’S USA: Where Quality Meets Affordability

Men’s fashion has come a long way, and one brand that has consistently provided quality, style, and affordability since 1982 is MEN’S USA. With a rich history of tailoring and a commitment to excellent customer service, MEN’S USA has become a trusted name in the world of men’s formal wear. Delve deeper into what sets MEN’S USA apart, both online and offline, and learn about their dedication to delivering top-notch products without the hefty price tag.

A Legacy of Quality and Affordability

MEN’S USA has a legacy that spans over four decades, establishing itself as a prominent player in the market for tuxedos and formal suits. What truly distinguishes them is their unwavering commitment to quality. While names like Brioni, Armani, Zegna, Boss, and Canali may come to mind when you think of high-end menswear, MEN’S USA offers a comparable level of quality without the premium price tag.

Their online and offline presence ensures that customers across the nation have access to impeccable tailoring and exquisite materials. MEN’S USA understands that style should not be reserved for the elite, and their products reflect this ethos. Whether you’re in the market for a classic tuxedo or a sophisticated blazer, you’ll find that MEN’S USA offers a range of options to cater to your unique style preferences.

Elevate Your Style with MEN'S USA: Where Quality Meets Affordability

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Customer-Centric Approach

One aspect that truly sets MEN’S USA apart is their dedication to providing exceptional customer service. In a world where shopping at the mall often means paying exorbitant prices, MEN’S USA steps in as the savior of your style and your wallet. Their team is committed to ensuring that you have a seamless shopping experience, whether in-store or online.

MEN’S USA values its customers and strives to offer them the best deals in the market. For example, their famous 3-suit package, allowing you to buy three suits for just $333, is a testament to their commitment to affordability without compromising on quality. This is just one of the many ways they go above and beyond to cater to their customers’ needs.

A Comprehensive Range of Products

At MEN’S USA, you’ll find a treasure trove of options to elevate your wardrobe. From 100% Italian Wool suits by Mantoni to formal and party jackets, Giovanni leather shoes, classic navy blazers, and Mantoni pants, they have it all. Their collection extends beyond suits to encompass shirts, ties, bowties, tuxedos, blazers, slacks, outerwear, sport coats, boots, and more.

Whether you’re dressing up for a special occasion, adding a touch of sophistication to your daily wear, or looking for the perfect pair of shoes, MEN’S USA has you covered. Their commitment to offering a wide array of products ensures that you can find everything you need to complete your look under one roof.

Elevate Your Style with MEN'S USA: Where Quality Meets Affordability

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Services That Make a Difference

MEN’S USA understands that the perfect fit can make or break an outfit. That’s why they offer same-day alterations to ensure that your new purchases fit you like a glove. This dedication to customer satisfaction extends to every aspect of their business.

In a world where fashion trends come and go, MEN’S USA stands as a beacon of quality, affordability, and exceptional customer service. With a legacy that spans over four decades, they have consistently delivered on their promise to provide customers with top-notch formal wear without the premium price tag. Whether you’re visiting their Los Angeles store or shopping online, MEN’S USA is your go-to destination for elevating your style. So why pay those exorbitant mall prices when MEN’S USA is ready to take care of you? Experience the best in men’s fashion at MEN’S USA and discover a world of style that doesn’t break the bank.

Website: MEN’S USA

Instagram: MEN’S USA on Instagram

Facebook: MEN’S USA on Facebook

Elevate your style with MEN’S USA – where quality meets affordability.

A Journey of Empowerment: Jonathan Bannister’s Evolution from Policeman to Influential Industry Leader

In the world of entrepreneurship, there are stories that inspire individuals who redefine what’s possible. Jonathan Bannister, the visionary CEO and Owner of Cornerstone Marketing Solutions and the charismatic host of the “Home Service Hustle Podcast,” is one such luminary. His remarkable journey from the police force to the pinnacle of the digital marketing industry is a testament to faith, determination, and the unwavering desire to make a difference.

Jonathan’s entrepreneurial odyssey began with an act of faith. In 2013, he was a dedicated police officer, providing for his young family. However, the increasing risks associated with law enforcement and realizing that his job security was far from guaranteed weighed heavily on him. Every day, as he kissed his children goodbye, he couldn’t help but wonder about the future.

His wife’s concerns echoed in his mind. She wondered aloud what would happen to their family if he didn’t return home one day, given the hazardous nature of his job and its modest income. Her questions served as the spark that ignited his entrepreneurial spirit.

Jonathan recalls, “I called up a buddy of mine one day and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking about getting out of law enforcement. Do you have anything you’re working on?'” His friend’s venture into mobile app development became the turning point in Jonathan’s life.

The mobile app his friend was working on was a basic white-label technology. Yet, Jonathan saw its potential to revolutionize industries like golf and dining. His vision was simple but groundbreaking: leveraging push notifications to provide real-time updates on weather conditions to golfers and offering enticing deals through geofencing for restaurant-goers.

His entrepreneurial journey began with selling these apps to local businesses, a path that would eventually lead him to marketing. As he ventured deeper into the business world, he encountered challenges that would only strengthen his resolve.

One key revelation along the way hints that Jonathan was destined to be an entrepreneur. His aversion to red tape and inefficiency and his relentless commitment to improving processes were at odds with traditional employment. He says, “I am the worst employee; I seem to either get forced out, fired, or have to quit because they made me so miserable.”

His deep-seated belief in doing things differently, finding innovative solutions, and helping others succeed forged his path as an entrepreneur. Jonathan’s journey wasn’t just about business; it was about making a meaningful impact on the lives of small business owners.

In 2021, Jonathan took another bold step by launching the “Home Service Hustle Podcast.” Unlike typical business podcasts, this venture wasn’t intended solely to drive business to Cornerstone Marketing Solutions. Instead, Jonathan’s mission was clear: to provide unadulterated value.

The podcast’s core themes of marketing, mindset, and money are integral to the challenges faced by home service business owners. Jonathan intended to share insights from experts who had weathered the storm, learning from their setbacks and hardships.

He says, “I wanted people to hear from the experts, what did you do to grow this $80 million, $100 million company?” By addressing these crucial topics, Jonathan aims to educate and deliver value to real business owners, helping them navigate the complex terrain of entrepreneurship.

Jonathan Bannister‘s journey from a police officer to an industry leader is a testament to the power of faith, resilience, and an unyielding desire to create value. His path, driven by an innate entrepreneurial spirit, showcases the transformative potential of individual determination. From the precinct to the podcast studio, Jonathan’s story inspires us all to embrace change, pursue our passions, and, above all, strive to make a positive impact on the lives of others. He aptly says, “I think when you provide value, and you do it expecting nothing in return, the world just opens up so many things to you.” Jonathan Bannister‘s world is one of inspiration, innovation, and endless possibilities.

Medicare Pricing Reform: A Cornerstone of Biden’s 2024 Reelection Campaign

In a determined stride towards securing his reelection bid, President Joe Biden is setting his sights on a critical objective: reducing the financial burden of healthcare for individual citizens.

This strategic move comes as medical expenditures continue to account for a significant 18.3% of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Read also: Exploring the Benefits of the New Income-Driven Student Loan Repayment Plan: The SAVE Plan Unveiled in 2023

Prioritizing Affordability Amidst the Political Landscape

In a resonating declaration from the White House, President Biden expressed his long-standing battle against the pharmaceutical industry, highlighting his unwavering commitment to alleviating the strain on the American populace.

He pledged to stand by the citizens and tirelessly advocate for change on this pressing matter. Vice President Kamala Harris echoes his resolve, emphasizing a united front against this issue.

Medicare Price Negotiations: A Game-Changing Initiative

A significant stride in this direction occurred with the White House’s recent announcement of a groundbreaking initiative.

The forthcoming Medicare price negotiations, set to take effect in 2026, are a pivotal step towards reigning in the soaring costs of prescription medications.

The initial focus will be on ten specific prescription drugs, collectively responsible for a staggering $50.5 billion, or about 20%, of the total Part D prescription drug expenses between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023, as reported by CMS.

Unveiling the Inequities: A Call for Change

President Biden was unreserved in his criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, alleging that exorbitant pricing practices disproportionately impact American citizens. He emphasized the stark contrast in pricing between the U.S. and other nations, attributing this discrepancy to the industry’s unchecked pricing strategies.

These negotiations, President Biden asserts, hold the potential to rectify these disparities and instigate a transformation in the pharmaceutical landscape.

Navigating Challenges on the Path to Reelection

President Biden faces a twofold challenge in the next fourteen months: not only must he demonstrate his commitment to reducing everyday costs for the populace, but he must also navigate economic intricacies such as high interest rates and lingering inflation.

These factors, still hovering above pre-pandemic levels, demand a skillful balancing act in his reelection campaign.

Ensuring Long-Term Impact Amidst Immediate Expectations

One of the complexities President Biden encounters is the inherent time lag between policy implementation and tangible effects on citizens’ lives.

Many of his legislative and policy achievements, while promising, require years to fully materialize. Nevertheless, Democrats argue that a second term for President Biden is essential to realize his vision and effectively conclude ongoing initiatives.

A Delicate Balance: Delivering Results and Securing the Future

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Campaign Manager for Biden-Harris 2024, lauds the achievements as a testament to effective governance. Yet, she issues a cautionary reminder that the progress achieved thus far hinges on the outcome of the 2024 election.

The pivotal choice voters face is framed as one between a president attuned to their needs and a lineup of candidates driven by policies that prioritize the interests of affluent donors.

A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare Affordability

At the core of Tuesday’s announcement is a message of monumental change: President Biden’s efforts herald the end of exorbitant medication prices for Americans. The ardent struggle against the pharmaceutical industry, coupled with a comprehensive approach to healthcare reform, stands as a testament to the power of Biden’s economic vision – Bidenomics.

Healthcare at the Heart of Reelection Strategy

The meticulous orchestration of Tuesday’s Medicare announcement, marked by supplementary events and media engagements, underscores the centrality of healthcare in President Biden’s reelection campaign.

A well-crafted strategy, already well in motion, aligns healthcare reforms with his campaign narrative and resonates with diverse voter groups.

Catalysts of Change: Biden’s Recent Legislative Achievements

President Biden’s signature domestic legislation, the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, holds pivotal amendments aimed at easing the financial burdens of healthcare.

Provisions such as capping out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month for Medicare recipients and limiting individual out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs to $2,000 annually underscore his commitment to tangible change.

A Focus on Tangible Concerns for Widespread Appeal

With a keen eye on capturing the support of swing voters in battleground states, President Biden’s emphasis on “kitchen table” issues – those concerns most relevant to everyday lives – signifies a calculated move. His strategy revolves around addressing the immediate needs of the populace, a persuasive approach in securing voter trust.

Continuing the Journey: Future Steps and Resilience

Undeterred by challenges, President Biden’s resolve remains steadfast. His immediate agenda includes expanding the insulin cost cap to extend coverage to privately insured Americans and ensuring the permanence of Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax subsidies.

His resounding commitment to standing up against the pharmaceutical industry further underscores his dedication to reform.

The Endgame

In a high-stakes political landscape, President Joe Biden’s endeavor to reduce healthcare costs emerges as a pivotal theme in his 2024 reelection campaign. The introduction of Medicare price negotiations and the far-reaching legislative achievements paint a portrait of a leader dedicated to tangible change. As he navigates complexities, President Biden’s strategy mirrors his core values of transparency and data-driven decision-making. His vision for an equitable healthcare landscape resonates with voters’ aspirations for a better, more affordable future.

Outrage in Spain as Soccer Chief’s Inappropriate Gesture Mars Women’s World Cup Ceremony

In a shocking turn of events at the Women’s World Cup ceremony, the soccer community finds itself grappling with a controversy that has ignited waves of anger and dismay in Spain. The focus of the uproar? An ill-judged gesture by a soccer chief that has left many questioning the boundaries of professionalism and respect within the sport.

Read also: Pickleball’s Indoor Migration: The Fastest Growing Sport Takes Shelter

The Unforgettable Kiss

As the world’s attention was drawn to the celebration of women’s soccer achievements, an unexpected and unwanted moment stole the spotlight. The president of a prominent soccer organization planted a kiss on the cheek of a female player during the ceremony. This move, meant to symbolize camaraderie and support, instead raised eyebrows for its inappropriateness.

Outraged Voices Speak Up

In a sport that has been working diligently to promote gender equality and create a safe environment for female players, this incident has struck a discordant note. Voices from all corners of the soccer world, especially in Spain, have risen in collective protest against what is viewed as a violation of personal space and an undermining of the players’ accomplishments.

Critics argue that such actions not only overshadow the significance of the event but also perpetuate a culture of gender-based discrimination. The very essence of the Women’s World Cup celebration was tarnished by a gesture that seemed to convey a lack of understanding about the importance of consent and professionalism.

Reverberations and Repercussions

As the outrage reverberates through social media and news outlets, the incident has sparked important conversations about the role of leadership and the responsibility that comes with it. While some individuals defend the soccer chief’s intentions as well-meaning, the consensus remains that the incident highlights a need for greater awareness and sensitivity in high-profile events.

The broader implications of this incident extend beyond the soccer field. It brings into focus the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and equality in the sports industry. The incident serves as a reminder that while progress has been made, there is still work to be done in dismantling harmful stereotypes and creating an inclusive environment for all.

From Outrage to Opportunity

In the midst of this controversy, there lies an opportunity for growth and change. Soccer organizations, not just in Spain but around the world, can take this incident as a catalyst for necessary conversations about respect, consent, and professionalism. By acknowledging the mistake and using it as a stepping stone, the sport can reinforce its commitment to gender equality and set an example for other industries.

A Call for Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability should be the cornerstones of any organization, particularly one as influential as a soccer association. In order to restore faith in leadership, it’s imperative that the soccer chief and other responsible parties address the incident openly and take concrete steps to prevent such occurrences in the future. This could involve implementing training programs that emphasize appropriate behavior and ethical conduct.

The Path Forward

As Spain and the global soccer community grapple with the aftermath of this incident, it’s important to remember that progress often arises from moments of discomfort and challenge. The anger and disappointment expressed by fans, players, and advocates serve as a reminder that change is both necessary and possible.

The Women’s World Cup ceremony should have been a celebration of achievement, unity, and empowerment. While this incident has cast a shadow, it also provides an opportunity to shed light on the work that remains to be done. By learning from mistakes and committing to a future that is respectful and inclusive, the soccer world can turn this unfortunate episode into a stepping stone toward a more equitable future.

India Creates History: Landmark Moon Landing Near South Pole Unveils New Possibilities

India’s Pioneering Lunar Landing Marks Breakthrough in Space Exploration and Unlocks Potential Water Reserves

In a groundbreaking achievement that has captured the world’s attention, India has etched its name in history by becoming the very first nation to successfully land a spacecraft near the enigmatic south pole of the moon. This extraordinary feat, accomplished on a crisp Wednesday morning at 6:04 local time, ushers in a new era of lunar exploration and unveils the potential of uncharted territory that scientists believe holds significant reserves of frozen water.

Read also: ChatGPT dipped in quality according to a new study

Expanding on the Achievement

With resounding cheers and thunderous applause, a momentous event unfolded in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. A meticulously engineered lander, carrying a rover within its confines, made a gentle touchdown on the lunar surface. The significance of this accomplishment reverberated far beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, as India joined an elite club of spacefaring nations that have achieved this awe-inspiring milestone. The illustrious company includes the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and now, India.

Prime Minister’s Witness to History

Even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while participating in the BRICS nations summit in South Africa, could not miss this historic occasion. As the lander touched down and the Indian tricolor waved on the lunar surface, Modi shared his exhilaration, stating, “India is now on the moon. India has reached the south pole of the moon — no other country has achieved that. We are witnessing history.”

Setting the Stage for Exploration

India’s accomplishment comes on the heels of a recent setback in lunar exploration. Russia’s Luna-25, aiming for the same lunar region, faced a tragic fate as it spun into an uncontrolled orbit and crashed. The contrast between India’s triumphant landing and Russia’s misfortune underscores the intricacies and challenges of space exploration.

Nationwide Anticipation and Devotion

Across India, the world’s most populous country, a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation gripped the nation. From bustling offices to serene temples, people gathered around televisions, watching this historic event unfold. As a sign of unwavering devotion, thousands lit oil lamps along riverbanks, in temples, and in Varanasi, the holy city of northern India, praying for the success of the mission.

Chandrayaan-3: A Symbol of Progress

The Chandrayaan-3 mission, aptly named “moon craft” in Sanskrit, embarked on its journey from the Sriharikota launchpad in southern India on July 14. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) proudly declared that this mission’s success represents a momentous stride for Indian science, engineering, technology, and industry. It carries with it the promise of not only advancing space exploration but also igniting curiosity and passion for exploration among the youth.

A Beacon of Innovation and Unity

According to the ISRO, a successful Chandrayaan-3 landing holds the potential to spark a profound sense of pride and unity. This monumental achievement has the capacity to foster an environment of scientific inquiry and innovation, shaping the next generation’s outlook on space exploration.

Unlocking Lunar Mysteries

The allure of the moon’s south pole lies in its potentially frozen water reserves. These permanently shadowed craters have captured the attention of countries and private companies alike, holding the promise of supporting future astronaut missions. Chandrayaan-3’s six-wheeled lander and rover module, equipped with advanced payloads, will unravel the properties of lunar soil and rocks, including chemical compositions, paving the way for deeper insights into lunar mysteries.

Overcoming Adversity

India’s journey to the moon’s south pole has not been without challenges. A previous attempt in 2019 encountered a software glitch that led to a failed landing. However, the perseverance of the Indian space community prevailed, and this success follows in the wake of valuable lessons learned from past failures.

A Strategic Move on the Global Stage

In the context of India’s growing economic stature and technological prowess, this moon mission aligns seamlessly with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of an ascendant India. As the world’s fifth-largest economy, India’s foray into space exploration serves as a testament to its status as a global technology and space leader. This success carries the potential to bolster national pride and strengthen India’s international standing.

Looking Ahead: Future Milestones and International Dynamics

As India basks in the glory of its lunar success, it does so amidst a shifting landscape of space exploration. China, India’s regional rival, has its sights set on ambitious space milestones, including lunar landings and the construction of a space station. The global stage is set for diverse nations and private entities to vie for lunar dominance. With numerous countries and companies racing to achieve successful lunar landings, the coming years are poised to be transformative for space exploration.

A Landmark and Hope for Future Endeavors

India’s unprecedented achievement, marked by a successful landing near the moon’s south pole, opens doors to a new chapter in humanity’s exploration of the cosmos. This triumph not only propels India’s technological standing but also kindles the flames of curiosity and innovation among the young minds of the nation. As the world watches and applauds this milestone, the quest for understanding the universe’s mysteries continues, driven by the indomitable spirit of exploration.

Spending could be more timid in 2023 holiday seasons

Spending — With August approaching the midway point, September is on the horizon, heralding the first hints of holiday shopping. Although it is usually advisable to begin shopping early, the state of the economy has created a dilemma that may impair customers’ spending patterns.

According to early predictions for this year’s Christmas shopping, buyers may be forced to be more frugal with their spending, with little to no choice but to spend less. Despite the fact that it is still August, many people are anticipating how the approaching holiday shopping season will unfold.

Read also: 3 ways the Fed’s latest hike rate can affect you

The last two months of the year

November and December are often dominated by customers going from store to store looking for deals and discounts on present purchases. They are an excellent indicator of the consumer’s purchasing power.

The last two months of the year are especially crucial for retailers since they account for one-fifth of their annual sales.

With retailers preparing for the key fourth quarter, which normally results in overall profitability, an estimate has surfaced indicating that merchants will not have blockbuster Christmas sales this year. Regardless, sales are likely to increase over previous year.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the holiday season,” said Coresight Research senior retail/technology analyst John Harmon.

According to Coresight, year-end holiday sales for October through December 2023 will increase by the low single digits compared to 2022.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales in 2022 increased by 5.3% when compared to the previous year for November and December combined. However, the figures do not indicate that the year is on track to hit a new low. It should instead be understood as the United States emerging from years of anomalous economic activity.

According to Harmon, estimates for 2023 are based on good years of significant holiday sales growth, difficulties in drawing comparisons, and projecting how soon holiday spending may commence.

“The patterns of holiday spending have changed,” said Harmon. “It doesn’t all happen all in the fourth quarter these days.”

Early kickoff

Harmon’s remarks harkened back to 2021, when merchants including Amazon and Walmart were worried of customer demand due to the epidemic, kicking off Christmas shopping earlier in October. In 2022, a similar trend was replicated, extending the Christmas shopping season.

For example, Home Depot stated last week that it will begin selling holiday-themed merchandise online. The firm said that it utilized the same strategy as in previous years to increase sales of festive products after observing early customer interest, namely for Christmas merchandise.

Slower sales

However, Harmon emphasized that retail sales in the United States are slowing. 

“There are pluses and minuses for the consumer,” he said.

To underscore his thesis, hourly salaries in the United States are growing year over year, yet the labor force participation rate remains low. As a result, any gains gained by a household are still offset by a number of variables. According to Coresight, one of the causes is persistent (but lowering) inflation on items such as:

  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Housing
  • Interest-rate hikes
  • Slowing housing market
  • Resumption of student loan repayments

“The savings rate has gone down and it’s a concern that consumer debt levels have gone up,” said Harmon.

Furthermore, Americans’ credit card debt has reached record highs. Credit card debt has reached $1 trillion for the first time, according to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Shopper and spending resilience

Despite various overhangs, customers, according to John Harmon, continue to show resilience as they purchase for essentials, discretionary items, and services.

“So far, consumers really seem to have the desire, will, and ability to keep spending,” he said.

“Barring any cataclysmic event, things seem to be moving in that direction and we don’t foresee a huge risk to holiday spending.”

Back-to-school sales patterns in 2023 support this viewpoint. According to a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence research, school-related product sales are predicted to grow by 1.5% in 2023, as the inflation rate on back-to-school retail sales falls from 5.9% in 2022 to 0.3% in 2023. The study also mentioned how rising wages have aided in the continuation of spending.

Marshal Cohen of Circana predicts that buyers will continue to spend less on presents.

“The good news is there will be pent up demand on the gifting side of the equation,” he said. 

“Spending on essentials, and a lot less on discretionary products, means we have a lot of catching up to do by holiday time and a long list of desires to share with those giving gifts.”

Cohen also predicted that the 2023 holiday shopping season will mirror that of 2022, with a sluggish start in late October, Cyber Monday improving on Black Friday, and a significant delay until the last two weeks before the holidays.

“Consumers are in no rush to spend, and a lack of inspiration with so few new and exciting items makes for a ho-hum holiday at retail,” Cohen noted.

Nishad Singh of FTX pleaded guilty, apologizes for actions

Nishad SinghDespite the fact that the crypto exchange site FTX has been down for months, the crackdown on its leadership continues.

Nishad Singh, a former FTX executive, recently pled guilty.

He is currently assisting the FBI investigation into the alleged billion-dollar scam at the once-famous exchange.

The news

Nishad Singh, the platform’s former director of engineering, has pled guilty to six conspiracy counts, including:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering
  • Conspiracy to violate federal campaign finances laws

Singh is the third top executive and close confidante of Sam Bankman-Fried to enter a guilty plea.

He joins Gary Wang, the exchange’s co-founder, and Caroline Ellison, the former head of Alameda Research, the exchange’s sister hedge fund.

Wang and Ellison entered pleas of guilty in 2022 and are currently collaborating against SBF.

“Today’s guilty plea underscores once again that the crimes at FTX were vast in scope and consequence,” said Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“They rocked our financial markets with a multibillion-dollar fraud. And they corrupted our politics with tens of millions of dollars in illegal straw campaign contributions.”

“The crimes demand swift and certain justice, and that is exactly what we are seeking in the Southern District of New York.”


Nishad Singh agreed to settle after the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission filed civil charges against him.

Singh consented to be barred from serving as an officer or director as part of the SEC agreement.

To finalize the agreement, a court must sign off on it and decide how much fines and disgorgement Nishad Singh must pay in addition to the period of the ban.

Nonetheless, Singh did not challenge his responsibility, according to the CFTC.

Restitution, disgorgement, and permanent trading restrictions are among the remedies sought by the agency.


Lawyers Andrew Goldstein and Russell Capon, Nishad Singh’s attorneys, issued an apology statement on Tuesday.

“Nishad is deeply sorry for his role in this and has accepted responsibility for his actions.”

“He wants to do everything he can to make things right for victims, including by assisting the government to the best of his ability in this case.”

Read also: Meta proactive in adding extra protection to teens online

The head of the company

As Nishad Singh, Gary Wang, and Caroline Ellison face harsh punishment, the head of their torn empire is still waiting for his punishment.

Sam Bankman-Fried is facing 12 criminal charges for his participation in one of the largest financial thefts in history, according to prosecutors and the international community.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, SBF pleaded not guilty to some of the allegations.

He will appear in court at some point in the future, with a date still to be determined on some of the allegations.

Sam Bankman-Fried is also freed on a $250 million bond.

The allegations

Prosecutors claim that Sam Bankman-Fried, Nishad Singh, Gary Wang, and Caroline Ellison (among others) misappropriated client accounts at FTX.

They allegedly used the money for the following:

  • Strengthen Alameda Research’s business operations
  • Self Enrichment
  • Create venture investments
  • Buy the influence of US politicians

Authorities also stated that SBF raised around $1.8 billion from investors.

Political influence

An indictment against him was released last week, revealing that prosecutors claimed more than 300 political donations were made.

The gifts were apparently made in a bid to influence bitcoin law and regulation.

Moreover, they were made in the identities of two FTX workers designated in the indictments as CC-1 and CC-2.

CC-1 is Nishad Singh, and CC-2 is Ryan Salame, according to persons familiar with the matter and federal and state election records.

Prosecutors claim Singh was picked as the face of left-wing contributions.

According to the indictment, SBF plotted to donate at least a million dollars to a super PAC supporting a candidate running for a US House seat who seemed to be pro-LGBTQIIA+ issues.

A SBF political strategist reportedly asked Nishad Singh to take the fall for the contribution, telling him:

“In general, you being the center left face of our spending will mean you giving to a lot of woke *** for transactional purposes.”

Prosecutors said that Nishad Singh showed uneasiness but acknowledged that no one at the firm trusted someone who was “bi/gay” and capable of making the contribution.

Moreover, an FTX employee was charged with sending $107,000 from SBF’s account to the New York Democratic Committee before the 2022 midterm elections.

According to the indictment, they were directed to amend it and say it originated from CC-1.

On October 28, Nishad Singh contributed $107,000 to the committee, according to records.

MacBook updated chips coming in 2023

MacBook: When Apple disclosed that buyers could choose between the M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs for the new Macs on Tuesday, it was a momentous revelation.

For the Mac and MacBook, the two CPUs are Apple’s most powerful processors.

The M2 chips

Apple’s next-generation systems on the chips (SoCs), the M2 Pro and M2 Max elevate the performance.

With over 32GB of quick, unified memory, a 12-core CPU, and a 19-core GPU, the Pro expands the M2 architecture.

The M2 Pro features a 38-core GPU to double the unified memory bandwidth and 96GB of unified memory, while the Max expands on those features.

The CPUs include improved proprietary technologies such as a speedier 16-core Neural Engine and Apple’s powerful media engine.

The M2 Pro makes its debut in the Mac mini, while the M2 Max substantially enhances the performance and functionality of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

“Only Apple is building SoCs like M2 Pro and M2 Max,” said Johny Srouji, the senior vice president of Apple’s Hardware Technologies.

“They deliver incredible pro performance along with industry-leading power efficiency.”

“With an even more powerful CPU and GPU, support for a larger unified memory system, and an advanced media engine, M2 Pro and M2 Max represent astonishing advancements in Apple silicon.”

The Mac mini

Faster speed, more unified memory, and cutting-edge networking are all features of the new Mac mini, which is more powerful and competent at an accessible price.

Additionally, the M2 model and the M2 Pro variant both support up to three monitors.

The Studio Display, Magic access, and the power and simplicity of MacOS Ventura are all included with the Mac mini.

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Greg Joswiak, said:

“With incredible capabilities and a wide array of connectivity in its compact design, Mac mini is used in so many places, in so many different ways.”

“Bringing even more performance and a lower starting price, Mac mini with M2 is a tremendous value.”

“And for users who need powerful pro performance, Mac mini with M2 Pro is unlike any other desktop in its class.”

Additionally, Apple no longer manufactures or markets Mac minis with Intel processors.

The Mac Pro is the final computer with an Intel CPU installed.

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Following Luca Maestri’s October caution, the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, as well as the Mac mini, were released.

The revenues of the corporation will decrease yearly in the December quarter, according to Apple’s chief financial officer.

The reduction, meanwhile, may be the result of Apple not shipping the MacBooks in time for the holiday shopping season.

Apple released its fiscal fourth-quarter results in October, and both its earnings and sales per share exceeded Wall Street forecasts.

The tech giant fell short of revenue projections in key product categories, including the iPhone business and services.

As many buyers continue to struggle with inflation, the upgraded Macs will be introduced into an unpredictable economic environment.

Given the continued recessionary anxieties, most consumers have likewise grown more thrifty with their spending.

Earnings report

Apple will release its earnings report at the end of the month.

The tech titan posted December quarter sales of $10.85 billion in the last year, a 25% increase over the same period the previous year.

The firm at the time declared its highest quarterly revenue ever as sales increased over 11% despite pandemic-related consequences and supply chain interruptions.


On Tuesday, prospective buyers can place pre-orders for Apple’s updated goods, which will go on sale on January 24.

The M2 chip-equipped Mac mini will cost $100 less than the $599 pricing of the last model.

The M2 Pro model, however, will cost $1,299.

The price of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro is $1,999.

Last but not least, the 16-inch MacBook Pro variant will cost roughly $2,499.


Apple announces new Mac mini, MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips

Apple introduces new Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro – more powerful, capable, and versatile than ever

Apple unveils M2 Pro and M2 Max: new-generation chips for next-level workflows

NASA’s DART Mission Completes Maneuver to Make Contact with an Asteroid

Many films have featured a brave group of astronauts on a trip that might mean the difference between life and death, with asteroids serving as their customary foe.

Some examples of these movies include Deep Impact and Armageddon. Moviegoers observe as the heroes blow a nuclear bomb to prevent the asteroid from crashing with Earth.

Contrary to common assumption, experts do not believe that a massive quantity of boulders traveling at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour or more could be totally shattered.

The solution, according to experts, is to simply steer a piece of space rock off course using a tiny spacecraft. This method is safer and gentler than other handling methods.

And this past week, NASA accomplished that when one of its spacecraft slammed an asteroid. Before the asteroid eventually destroyed the equipment, its photographs were captured and transmitted to the head office.

Dimorphos is an asteroid that was reached by NASA’s device.

The idea worked, the crew said, and it would only be a matter of months until they would know whether or not they had successfully diverted the asteroid from its course.

Elena Adams, the mission’s systems engineer, claimed that the individuals directly involved in the mission were overwhelmed with ecstasy and horror as soon as the craft eventually collided with Dimorphos.

The mission is a phase of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), initiated by NASA seven years ago.

To test humanity’s ability to defend the Earth against space debris headed for a collision with our planet, the $300 million initiative put the spacecraft into orbit in November of last year.

Before the team saw the desired outcomes, scientists predicted it would take two months.

The mission is successful if the asteroid is deflected off its route. If it proceeds in the same direction, though, NASA will need to come up with another technique.

“This really is about asteroid deflection, not disruption. This isn’t going to blow up the asteroid,” said DART’s coordination lead, Nancy Chabot.

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Changing the orbit of Dimorphos

With a distance of 7 million miles from Earth, Dimorphos is completely inhospitable to life. It’s more intriguing that Dimorphos, a 525 feet wide rock, is orbiting another asteroid, albeit a larger one.

According to NASA, DART won’t alter Earth significantly enough to put life at risk.

“There is no scenario in which one or the other body can become a threat to the Earth. It’s just not scientifically possible, just because of momentum conservation and other things,” Thomas Zurbuchen from the NASA science mission directorate stated.

DART’s objective is to change the amount of time it takes Dimorphos to complete an orbit around the larger asteroid.

According to statistics, the smaller asteroid turns once every 11 hours, 55 minutes. Dimorphos ought to now complete a full orbit every 11 hours, 45 minutes, assuming the DART mission is effective.

“The bottom line is, it’s a great thing. Someday, we are going to find an asteroid which has a high probability of hitting the Earth, and we are going to want to deflect it. When that happens, we should have, in advance, some experience knowing that this would work,” explained the Asteroid Institute executive director, Ed Lu.

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NASA should work more

Since they know how important their work is, DART experts at NASA put forth more effort to advance the research.

“We’re moving an asteroid. We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity has never done that before. This is stuff of science fiction books and really corny episodes of Star Trek from when I was a kid, and now it’s real. And that’s kind of astonishing that we are actually doing that, and what that bodes for the future of what we can do,” stated a DART program scientist, Tom Statler.

“It’s something that we need to get done so that we know what’s out there and know what’s coming and have adequate time to prepare for it,” added Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer.

Photo Credit: NASA

Source: NPR