How Much Does The Average American Spend on Holiday Shopping?


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Even with Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales, it is still very easy to spend more than you intended during the holiday season. In fact, getting a great deal on one gift item could encourage you to spend extra on another item. So, how much does the average American actually spend on holiday shopping?

Data gathered from a recent Gallup poll says that the average American plans to spend $786 this holiday season. Jim Angleton, President of AEGIS FinServ Corp., offered a closer look at these stats, breaking them down by demographic. According to AEGIS FinServ Corp.’s year over year data:

  • Women ages 15-30 spend on average $214.67 for a per person gift
  • Women ages 31-57 spend on average $203.36
  • Men ages 15-30 spend on average $296.45
  • Men ages 31-57 spend the most, averaging $332.11
  • Grandparents spend approximately $289.50

How Can I Keep My Own Holiday Spending Under Control?

Allocate Spending Amounts.

Steve Siebold, author of the book “How Rich People Think,” recommends setting a per person budget. “Allocate a certain amount of money for each person you plan on buying gifts for and don’t overspend by even a dollar.”

Use Gift Cards.

Jon Lal, founder of coupon site has a unique suggestion. “If you need to buy a holiday present and have gift cards, but are short on cash, trade your unwanted gift cards in and get gift cards for the store you want to purchase the gift at. Using a reduced price gift card site such as Cardpool, you can sell the gift cards you no longer want. These same sites let you purchase a gift card for less than face value, so you can save on a present by redeeming a gift card which you didn’t have to pay full price on.”

Don’t Automatically Reach for Your Credit Cards.

“Don’t even think of using a credit card,” Siebold advises, “unless you are 100% sure you can comfortably pay it off at the end of the month.”

Give Your Cart a Second Look Before You Checkout.

Finally, Siebold advises keeping track of your cart before you even get to the register. “Don’t get caught up in the moment. If your shopping cart is overflowing, step back, regroup and make sure you can really afford everything you plan to purchase.”



Briana Fabbri is head of marketing for NetCredit.