The holiday shopping season is in full swing and Santa isn’t the only one making a list and checking it twice. Whether you’re buying gifts for the naughty or the nice, go ahead and pick up a little something for yourself on your next trip to the mall. People who believe in treating themselves are more likely to feel happy, and less likely to feel guilty, according to a recent survey.
Ninety percent of consumers who participated in a Chase Blueprint poll said that treating themselves is important, at least to some degree. And the 37% who totally agree with this sentiment are four times more likely than to buy themselves a gift this holiday season. They will spend more money on gifts for everyone on their list, as well: an average of $935, compared with $755 for those who only somewhat agree that treating yourself is the way to go.
Those who endorse the “treat yourself” philosophy are more likely to glow with holiday cheer, as well. Seventy-four percent of them report feeling happy every day—or most days, anyway. And people don’t seem to feel guilty about picking up a little something for themselves either. Seventy percent of people who don’t think self-gifting is important said they felt guilty during the past month. Only 59% of those who believe putting their own name on their gift list was essential said they felt guilty.
Giving still better than getting
Even though many of us like to buy for ourselves, giving gifts to the people we care about still feels good. When asked if they believe the old saying, “it’s better to give than to receive,” 94% of people said yes, giving is better than getting. Women were a little more likely than men to be completely on board with this sentiment. Fifty-five percent of women totally endorse the idea that it’s better to give than receive, while 47% of men said the same.
Women’s shopping lists are also likely to be longer than men’s: while both men and women plan to spend about the same on gifts ($841 for women and $847 for men), women said they give presents to a wider range of people than men do.
It’s worth noting that not all of those gifts will be purchased, however. Women were more likely than men to say they plan to make homemade gifts this year. Fifty-nine percent of women are embracing the “DIY” ethic this holiday season, versus 31% of men.
Empty nesters are biggest spenders
How much money people plan to spend on gifts breaks down differently among different demographics. People whose kids have moved away say they’ll spend the most, while folks who don’t have kids and never intend to are planning to spend the least.
Non-parents who don’t plan to have kids plan to spend an average of $572 this season. People who don’t have kids yet, but plan to someday, plan to spend about $812, while people with kids at home say they’ll spend around $939. And at $1,036, empty nesters plan to spend the most on gifts.
The Chase Blueprint-AOL Holiday Money Mantra Survey was conducted online from a random sample of 1,005 consumers ages 25 to 64 in September 2013.