Some people may try to keep their spending to a minimum during the holiday season, but one trend is suggesting that this may not be the case for others, and individuals are still comfortable with their financial strategies.
Slightly more than one-third of Americans will be cutting back spending during the holidays this year compared to last season, according to a report conducted by Hart Research for Citi. Despite this, 63 percent want to increase their spending during the holidays. Last year, that level was just 52 percent.
“It’s reassuring to see spending on the rise, since the increase in Americans’ holiday budgets may indicate a more optimistic outlook towards making financial progress in 2014,” said Linda Descano, head of content and social for North America marketing at Citi, and president and CEO of Women & Co.
The levels of spending increases are notable. Nearly one-third of consumers noted that they plan to spend $1,000 or more this year, the report explained. This was notably higher than the 22 percent recorded two years ago. The average spending level this holiday season is $968, which is $60 more than during the 2011 holiday period.
Other Americans still plan to spend less
Despite the optimism from some that they will be able to shell out more money this year without worrying about their financial situation, others may not be as confident.
A separate measurement from Bankrate.com noted that nearly 40 percent will spend less this year than they did in 2012. Close to half of those polled explained they won’t change how much they spend this year from last year’s level. Just 14 percent will increase their spending output.
“Many Americans continue to struggle with little or no savings and stagnant wages, forcing them to rein in their spending this holiday season,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Overall, Americans are feeling more financially secure after the government shutdown and debt ceiling saga were resolved, but many are still clutching their pocketbooks closely.”
Despite the caution, many are feeling confident about their financial situation. The report noted that one-quarter of Americans feel better now about their finances than they did in 2012. On the other hand, just 18 percent noted that they think their personal finance situation is worse now than before.