More Than One-Third of Holiday Shoppers Report Their Budget for Gifts Will be Smaller This Year, Finds New Survey

--Survey Reveals Which Famous Holiday Characters U.S. Adults Feel They Are Most Like--

Nov 03, 2011, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anticipating an expensive holiday season amidst continued financial challenges, many holiday shoppers* are planning to spend less or the same this year compared to last year. According to a new survey, more than one-third (36 percent) of holiday shoppers said they anticipate their holiday gift budgets will be smaller this year, while 50 percent anticipate they will be the same. Only 12 percent plan to spend more this year compared to last year. This survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of from October 18-20, 2011 among 2,170 adults aged 18 and older.

When it comes to dollars and cents, nearly four-in-ten (38 percent) holiday shoppers said they plan to spend less than $500, while 23 percent said they will spend between $500 and $999. On the flip side, budgets aren't as big of an issue for some. One-in-five (20 percent) report they will spend $1,000 or more this year on gifts, while an additional 19 percent said they don't have any budget or spending limit at all. Twenty-three percent report that they plan to buy gifts for 15 or more people.

Comparing regions, shoppers in the Northeast (24 percent) were significantly more likely to indicate having a budget of $1,000 or more than those who live in the West (15 percent).

"Shoppers across the country are taking note of their holiday budgets and shopping early this year," said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at "More than a quarter of shoppers we surveyed said they have already started their shopping. Even if you haven't written your list and checked it twice yet, there's still plenty of time to save using a variety of different tactics."

Hitting the web is one way shoppers save on green this holiday season. Three-in-four holiday shoppers (75 percent) said they plan to shop online for gifts this year and 50 percent plan to use online coupons or coupon codes to help save money on holiday gift shopping. When asked why they'll shop online, shoppers** said the following:

  • More convenient – 74 percent
  • Find more special offers and deals online– 63 percent
  • It's easier – 63 percent
  • Less hectic than shopping in a store – 61 percent
  • Saves money on gas by not driving store to store – 46 percent
  • Helps me stay within my budget because prices are lower – 34 percent
  • Some other reason – 6 percent

In addition to their holiday budgets, U.S. adults shared just how similar they are to well-known holiday characters. Providing some levity, here are their responses:

  • George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life"  – I struggle every year around the holidays, but I'm hopeful that everything works out and it usually does – 24 percent
  • Buddy the Elf from "Elf" – Everything about the holidays excites me – 20 percent
  • Clark Griswold from "Christmas Vacation" – I take on way too much in the pursuit of the perfect family holiday, but I have a heart of gold and good intentions – 11 percent
  • Scrooge – I hate the holidays, leave me alone – 6 percent
  • Santa's elves – I work tirelessly around the clock to get everything ready for the holiday, but I don't get any of the credit – 5 percent

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from October 18-20, 2011 among 2,170 adults aged 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact: Allison Nawoj,  

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* U.S. adults who plan to do any holiday shopping this year
** Online U.S. adults who plan to do online shopping this year