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If year after year you find your self overspending at holiday time you are not alone, with eight out of 10 consumers (78%) indicating that they are in the same boat, according to the new TD Bank Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey, with most overspending by $215 on average.
What are they overspending on? It all depends, 65% of people spent more when looking for the perfect gift, yet on the other hand 57% go for small impulse buys, which can include anything from stocking stuffers to a special treat.
Yet self gift giving is also trending adding to the holiday budget blowout, with just about half of respondents (49%) saying that they buy themselves a treat or two while shopping. Incidentals also add to the budget overage with 61% going to town on gift cards and wrapping paper.
Millennials making those budgets
When it comes to making budgets, millennials lead the way, being the most likely generation to make a holiday budget (64%), while 52% of gen xers and just 43% of baby boomers are making budgets. And millennials are a little more likely to stay on point, but just slightly (73% of millennials vs. 70% overall).
When it comes to their average holiday spend, millennials spend less, coming in at a $515 spend, while their elders spend more (gen xers $589 and boomers $530).
What about re-gifting? Here too, millennials are more likely to gift a friend or family member with a gift they've already been given and don't want or need. With 61% doing just that, while 56% of gen xers and 47% of boomers admit to re-gifting.
Credit cards, debit cards and cash
When it comes to how they are going to buy their gifts, 55% go with debit cards, feeling that they are more convenient (61%), and make budgeting (59%) a lot easier. On the other hand, when heading to the register to pay for big ticket purchases 56% opt to use their credit cards, and the same holds true when shopping online.
But that does not mean they don't use cash – they do, with 57% paying for gifts with cash, while 7% use prepaid cards.
Paying as you go is the way to go for 48% of people, but 25% are planning on paying down their holiday bills over time, taking three months or more to clear the debt.
What makes a gift a winner? Well, for over 22% the person giving the gift made the present their favorite, not the actual gift. Yet some gifts do hit sweet spots, with electronics (20%) still taking the top spot and jewelry taking second place (12 %).
The Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey was carried out by MARU/Matchbox, a research company, from November 10 to 14.