With the end of the year in sight, people are taking stock and deciding how much they can afford to spend from now through the end of the holiday season. According to a recent survey, many of them are feeling confident about their ability to splurge on those major purchases they held off on earlier in the year.
Sixty-six percent of people polled in this month’s American Express Spending & Savings Tracker are on-target or below their budget for discretionary spending so far this year. It seems they want to spend that money though — slightly more than half of them plan to ring up a big-ticket item before New Year’s Day rolls around.
Hey, big spender
Fifty-one percent of respondents expect their most expensive purchase to total $1,000 or more. When asked what they planned to buy, the most common answer was something to spruce up their living space. Forty-one percent said they would make a purchase for their home, such as a new television (25%) or new appliances and furniture (20%). Others planned to splurge on a new car (19%) or take a trip (13%).
Shopping is a major activity as the holiday season creeps up, and 73% of people are figuring out their shopping strategy. Many will head to the mall rather than shopping online, with 51% preferring department store shopping and 38% planning to click their way to retail heaven. Other hot shopping spots were discounts stores and retail chains (37% and 34% chose these), while some (9%) prefer boutique shopping. A few (6%) named flash sales as their favorite.
Get out of town
Although plenty of folks (52%) are still planning to travel this year, many have already taken a vacation, with 56% saying they already took a leisure trip in 2013. Fifty-nine percent of them went away with their spouse or partner, 33% went with the kids, and 19% took off with friends. Some went with parents (10%), siblings (12%) and a very small percentage (3%) took a trip with their grandparents.
Occasionally, people like to take a trip for one, and 14% of those surveyed said they have taken a solo vacation this year, or plan to take one before the year is up.
The American Express Saving & Spending Tracker included answers from 1,515 adults surveyed online from September 3 to 8, 2013.