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How Much Will You Spend On Presents?

Poll QuestionAmericans are trimming more than their trees this holiday season.

A recent Gallup poll found that U.S. gift givers planned to spend less this Christmas than last – $704, down from $786 in 2012.

Of the 1,039 American adults polled, 31% planned to spend less than $250, while 8% didn’t plan on purchasing Christmas presents.

Some 26% said they would spend $1,000 or more on presents, down from 30% in 2012.

We probably like these numbers way more than retailers, who count heavily on December profits.

And the Gallup poll closely aligns with a survey this week from, which found 38% of people plan to spend less this year.

Of course, this can all change – consumers’ estimates of their holiday spending generally increase as the holiday approaches. Gallup figures from 2012 note an eleventh-hour spending surge the weekend before Christmas.

But avoiding overspending during the holiday seasons is about being savvy, not Scrooge-like.

The American Bankers Association recommends planning ahead to avoid starting 2014 in the red. While advance planning is out the window at this point, you can still benefit from a few of their tips if you’re frantically trying to finish your shopping:

  • Limit gifts to family and close friends, and decide in advance how much you want to spend on each person.
  • If you have to use credit, use only one credit card – with the lowest interest rate – and leave the rest at home. Only charge what you can afford to pay off in January.
  • Comparison shop online before hitting the stores.
  • Save your receipts for possible returns as well as to track what you’ve spent to plan for next Christmas.


How much are you planning to spend on presents?
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Comments (1)
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One Existing Comment
  1. A.Bundy said:
    on December 20th at 03:16 pm

    depends on who is giving me my raise and bonus. otherwise it’s gonna be $0.