TD Bank survey says average consumer spends at least $500 during holidays

The average consumer expects to spend $500 this holiday season, according to TD Bank’s Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey.

About three-quarters (76 percent) admit to overspending on gifts during the holidays in the past by an average of $263.

A little better than half of the respondents (52 percent) said they create a budget for holiday spending, with 80 percent following it – up from 70 percent in 2016.

“Holiday shopping should not create any added stress to such an enjoyable time of year,” Jason Thacker, head of U.S. Consumer Deposits and Payments at TD Bank, said. “These findings only further emphasize that by establishing a budget and exploring gift alternatives, people can still make meaningful memories and get the most out of the season.”

Among other findings, the survey said 62 percent of consumers prefer getting gift cards. Also, 50 percent give them as gifts to friends and family can “get what they want.”

In addition, it found that 56 percent of respondents have previously re-gifted – meaning they have given a present they got to someone else. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) said they re-gifted because they thought someone would like it more, while 40 percent said they gave it away because they did not like it.

Further, 32 percent of women and 38 percent of men say gifts for their significant other are the most
stressful to buy.

It also found that the place that tends to overspend the most is New York. Some 80 percent of New Yorkers say they overspend during the holidays. New Yorkers overspend by roughly 21 percent ($318) compared to $263 for the average American.

Finally, more Millennials (65 percent) create budgets than Gen Xers (56 percent) or Baby Boomers (35 percent). And, 67 percent of Millennials are likely to re-gift, which is higher than the national average of 56 percent.

“Time and time again, surveys have shown that in many ways, millennials are more financially responsible than members of older generations. Too many young adults, re-gifting is the most practical thing to do and if it saves you money in the process, it’s not a bad idea,” Amanda Dixon, financial writer and expert, said.