70 percent of Americans overspend on holiday gifts, survey says

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Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 12:50 PM CDT
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(WIFR) - It’s never too early to think about your holiday plans and gifts as we are about three months out from the holiday season. A recent survey by says 92 percent of Americans think it’s important to budget and save for the holidays.

The company surveyed more than 2,000 adults. Below is a list of some of the questions that were asked and the responses received.

Festive Finances

Do you feel financially prepared for this holiday season?

  • Yes (60 percent)
  • No (40 percent)

Do you plan on spending more or less than last year’s holiday season?

  • The same as last year (55 percent)
  • Less (26 percent)
  • More (19 percent)

How much do you typically spend on gifts during the holiday season?

  • $101 to $500 (39 percent)
  • $501 to $1,000 (26 percent)
  • $1,001 to $3,000 (14 percent)
  • $51 to $100 (11 percent)
  • Less than $50 (Eight percent)
  • $3,001 or more (Two percent)

Holiday Hustle

Do you hide the gifts somewhere specific?

  • Yes (52 percent)
  • No (48 percent)

If yes, where? [select all that apply]

  • In a closet (69 percent)
  • In the attic or basement (21 percent)
  • Under the bed (19 percent)
  • In my car (17 percent)
  • In the garage (16 percent)
  • At a relative or friend’s house (13 percent)
  • At my job (Nine percent)

Have you already started shopping for this upcoming holiday season?

  • Yes, I already started but have not finished. (31 percent)
  • No, I will start in October. (29 percent)
  • No, I will start in November. (27 percent)
  • No, I will start in December. (Nine percent)
  • Yes, I already started and completed my holiday shopping. (Four percent)

Do you shop during any of the following popular times? [select all that apply]

  • Cyber Monday (77 percent)
  • Black Friday (76 percent)
  • Saturday after Thanksgiving (43 percent)
  • The first week of December (40 percent)
  • Cyber Tuesday (35 percent)

With 89 percent of Americans purchasing gifts, here are five tips on saving during the holidays from Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at

  • Pre-order now. If a gift is popular or a new item is being released, do your research to see when it is available for purchase. Buying it in advance may save you money and stress. And while pre-orders may seem like a guarantee that you’ll get the product, you’ll still want to purchase the item as soon as possible to avoid the pre-sale running out of supplies.
  • Create a list. Build your holiday shopping list early on to not only help determine your budget but also stay organized to avoid forgetting items and having to buy them last-minute. While the list does not need to include everything at this point in time, it’s good to get a general ballpark amount of how much you plan on spending. Plus, it’ll help you monitor gift ideas to see if there are any noteworthy deals and help you determine if it’s worth buying them early on.
  • Budget (50/20/30) and create a holiday fund. Whether you have an idea of how much you want to spend or not, it’s best to start building your holiday fund so you’re not overspending and dipping into your savings to purchase gifts. Consider adopting the 50/20/30 rule. You’ll want to spend up to 50 percent of your after-tax income on necessities, like food and utilities; 20 percent on finances, such as debt repayments and savings; and 30 percent on personal expenses like holiday shopping and decor.

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