Every month in 2012, ACCC has held poll questions over at ConsumerCredit.com. In December we asked:
How much did you spend on the holidays in 2012? Was it more or less than last year?
Here’s what we found out…
Consumers with a tight grip on their finances indicated an increase in their holiday spending levels from 2011, with 61 percent of respondents spending between $100 and $750 according to the poll results. Many budget conscious consumers approached the 2012 holiday season more aware of spending habits with 35 percent implementing a savings plan and budget to help with purchases.
Of 115 consumers surveyed, 39 percent spent less than $500 this past holiday season, with 10 percent spending less than $100. Just 18 percent of those polled reported spending over $1,000.
Overall, 51 percent of those surveyed at ConsumerCredit.com said they spent less on holiday shopping than in 2011. Only 49 percent reported spending more than the previous year.
The survey also found that consumers are utilizing financial education resources such as budgets to help survive the holiday spending season with more than one in three adopting a savings plan. Of those consumers who used a savings plan or budget, 20 percent spent less, while 15 percent spent more because they were able to plan ahead. In addition, 20 percent of respondents that spent more this year indicated they did so because they are in a better place financially than they were in 2011.
Holiday shopping is often a significant financial burden, especially for consumers struggling to make ends meet and pay down debt. These results are promising for consumers and for the economy in general, especially when it comes to the spending behaviors of those who have encountered financial difficulty in the past.
If you’re looking for a way to better budget your holiday spending next year, try ACCC’s free Holiday Budget Worksheet.