Spending increased during November.

Spending increased during November.

Spending can be a necessary task for many consumers, but this can be a problem if it is overdone. Using too much money can be challenging to a person’s financial strategy, so some restraint may be needed.

In November, the average daily spending per person was $91, according to a poll from Gallup. This was $3 higher than October’s level, but nearly $20 higher than the same month in 2012. Each November in the last five years experienced a positive gain compared to the previous month, except for 2008. That year, the figure dropped $4 to $87 per day.

The latest measurement was just $4 more than the 2008 level of $87, the report noted. However, consumers are spending significantly more money now than in 2009, when it was just $67 per day.

It is possible that some of the gain for November was due to a higher level of spending for gifts. However, in a Gallup poll conducted in November, the average American noted that they will use just $704 for their holiday spending, lower than the $786 projected one month earlier. In November 2012, consumers estimated​ that close to $770 would be spent.

Gift cards may cost more money

One way that some individuals can help themselves save money is by purchasing gift cards. However, there may be some who are spending too much on these items.

Approximately one-ninth of all gift cards that are brand-specific have a purchase fee, according to a report from Bankrate.com. However, each one considered to be “general-purpose” has a fee for acquisition.

“While most Americans prefer to receive general-purpose gift cards because they can be used almost anywhere, they should be aware of the fees these cards charge both purchasers and recipients,” said Janna Herron, credit card analyst, Bankrate.com. “For example, all of the general-purpose cards that we surveyed charge the purchaser up to $6.95, and 71 percent charge dormancy or maintenance fees to the recipient. None of the brand-specific cards charge dormancy or maintenance fees.”

Despite this, many options allow for multiple use. The report noted that 53 percent have done so this year, which was higher than 51 percent recorded last year.  Another 69 percent have an option to be replaced if they are stolen or otherwise lost.

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