If you’re expecting a holiday gift from your co-worker this year, or from guests at your holiday party, don’t hold your breath: the second annual Holiday Retail Report released by TD Bank found shoppers are spending frugally this year, with overall spending down by nearly 30 percent.
One-in-five plan to buy a gift for a colleague, 13 percent plan to bring a gift for the host of a holiday party, and 6 percent expect to buy a gift for their babysitter or nanny.
People plan to spend $325 on their spouse or partner, $288 on each child, and $172 on their friends—totaling $735 on average. Last years total topped $1,000.
For those who are buying gifts, they’re doing so on plastic.
Average spend goes up nearly $100 to $840 when shopping with plastic, and 55 percent of people say they’re going to swipe several times a week or more. Two in three buyers are using their cards for rewards and perks, and 46 percent opt for plastic simply because it’s easier than cash.
“For consumers who are determined to find perfect gifts for their loved ones while sticking to a budget, the season can present a challenge to balance giving with spending. Credit cards can make the shopping experience more seamless and will ultimately place some money back in shoppers’ pockets through rewards and perks, but they must be used judiciously to avoid accruing significant debt,” said Mike Kinane, head of U.S. Bankcard for Cherry Hill-based TD Bank, in a statement.
Last year, 70 percent of respondents who paid with credit cards paid off their holiday debt in three months, and 45 percent said they did so within one month.
Men plan on spending nearly $200 more than women this holiday season, and men are more likely (19 percent versus 6 percent) to say they plan on making a major gift purchase priced at a $1,000 or more.
Women are more cost-conscious, however, with twice as many female survey respondents than male respondents saying they plan to spend less than they did during the holidays than last year.