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Twitter Poll: Will You Be Spending More or Less Than Last Year on Gifts?

This article was written by in Consumer. 36 comments.


Every so often, I present a question to Twitter to get a feel for opinions and ideas of Consumerism Commentary fans, readers, and friends. Yesterday, I asked whether you plan on spending more or less this holiday season than you did last year on gifts and other holiday expenses. With a troubling economy that doesn’t seem to be improving any time soon — just look at today’s unemployment numbers — the prevailing thought is that people are tightening their belts.

Since Twitter restricts responses to only a sentence or two, I also invited people to respond to the poll on the Consumerism Commentary Community (C3), a bulletin board that’s slowly getting off the ground.

Here are some responses.

  • dreamscostmoney: Wife and I decided to stop celebrating christmas altogether from now on. So, decidedly less.
  • conedude13: le$$!! See what i did there? clever, eh? :P
  • FinanceGirl: Spending less. Same value of items for everyone but me & husband, but getting stuff at better discounts & using RX transfer GCs.
  • bargainr: more! stimulate that economy!
  • rthornton: Plan to spend a little less. Driven more by desire to give smaller, more meaningful gifts than by state of economy
  • ToughMoneyLove: Spending less
  • nodebtplan: less, but not because of the economy. By choice – we’re giving gifts of experiences (doing stuff together, coming home for Christmas)
  • dgstinner: I plan on spending about the same for gifts during this year’s holiday season.
  • NickRac: Less – ONLY because I don’t have the girlfriend anymore!
  • brokegrad: More, because I’ve had a job this year as opposed to being a broke grad student like I was last year.
  • BurgBarbL: Probably about the same; I’ve managed to keep my overall spending in check, so feel OK about gifts
  • Anonymous: Probably less. Even though I’m making more money this year, it isn’t going as far, and I’m making a bigger effort to limit spending.

Many of the respondents plan on spending less this year, but not necessarily due to the economy. “Bargainr” (Jim from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity) is one of the few planning to spend more than last year, in what seems like an altrustic gesture to single-handedly save the retail economy.

On C3, That One Caveman says:

Much, much less, honestly. Our cash flow situation is pretty poor with all of our money going toward finishing our basement. I’ve allocated my blog’s income from the last month or so to cover at least a modest Christmas.

I consider those of us earning income from blogging, particularly as a “side stream,” pretty lucky in this economy. Without the income I earn from Consumerism Commentary and to a lesser extent a few other online projects, I would be in a very different financial situation.

Yana, a long-time Consumerism Commentary reader adds:

We’ll probably spend the same as last year, but we don’t do Christmas gift-giving or celebrations in general… I expect that due to the economy, there may be some especially great sales during or after the season. That could cause us to shop, if there is something we could use.

Stores are struggling in this economy, and some aren’t going to survive. Circuit City has already decided to close over 150 stores in the past week. I think there will be some great deals out there as stores work extra hard to get anyone to walk through the doors.

Follow me on Twitter to participate in future polls and join the Consumerism Commentary Community to discuss issues with other readers.

Updated December 22, 2011 and originally published November 7, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jim

I was being a little facetious but I’ll probably spend a little more than last year, we’ve never been huge gift givers so we might use this time to take advantage of good deals.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,485 (Platinum)

Jim: I knew you were being facetious, so was I. :-)

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avatar Silver Eagle

The wife and I will probably be spending a little less this year, but that is mainly because we have decided to keep a closer eye on our buying. Last year we had money set aside for presents, but didn’t really pay attention as we were purchasing them and ended up going over the amount we had set aside by using credit cards. This year we decided on a figure and pulled that much out in cash. Everything will be purchased with that cash and when it is gone then we are either done or we have to come up with it out of the spending allowance we each get weekly.

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avatar AT

Probably about the same but I’m going for much more practical presents and doing a lot more outright asking than in the past. “What could I buy you that you would find useful, but also somewhat a treat?” Other than stupid under $5 office gifts (candles, because it’s just better office politics to participate) I’m trying not to buy junk just because it’s Christmas.

My parents announced early that I was getting snow tires. I’m a nervous and not particularly good driver so that made me very happy. I think they’ll be getting nice shearling slippers, gloves, windproof fleese etc. All of this should ensure that we have a very light, unseasonably warm winter :D

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avatar Miss M

I plan to spend the same, I get paid bi-weekly but I budget based on 24 paychecks a year. The extra two paychecks bolster my savings, fix any previous overspending and most importantly, pay for christmas. The christmas money is sitting in my savings account, patiently waiting. We stay away from gifts and discretionary purchases for most of the year and save those things for christmas and birthdays. Any time Mr M sees something he wants I ask, do you want to put that on your christmas wish list.

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avatar Compounding

I will probably be spending twice as much as last year. We have never really gotten into gift giving that much, but when we have, we have been EXTREMELY frugal. I used a bunch of CVS ExtraCare Bucks to buy a few DVDs, some small gifts, and then some gift certificates that I used to buy a couple of bicycles. We did the Restaurant.com gift certificates for extended family and they were so pleased with what they received, but we only paid $2 for a $25 gift certificate.

This year, we are in a much better financial situation, and we will likely get a nice “whole family” gift, and then decent gifts for each of the kids. Paying off debt quickly really opens your eyes to how much you really have. We are saving for retirement and a better future and still have extra money to do fun things.

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avatar Mary

I’ll be spending less but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I’ve been reflecting back on other lean years and realized that some of the best gifts ideas I’ve ever had were born out of the need to save money. We share gift lists in our family and, in fat years, I just buy something off the lists, without a whole lot of consideration. So, less money more thought will be the order of the day this year!

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avatar ChristianPF

I think we will be spending about the same this year. Things are a bit tighter for us, but we really get a kick out of giving, so we do whatever we can to make it happen…

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avatar KC

Probably about the same, which isn’t much to begin with. My husband and I are moving over 500 miles this December so I’m not sure we’ll even buy each other gifts – not because of the money but because we won’t have time to shop. But we’ll still get something for our parents and siblings. I have a feeling we’ll be getting some nice things from our parents – like a washer/dryer, refrigerator. So we’ll be spending less, but receiving more :)

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avatar That One Caveman

While my blog doesn’t provide that much income, I feel blessed to receive what I do. Most of the money we spend this year will be on our daughter. My daughter’s currently growing out of all of her toys and needs something that’s more stimulating for her age. I’m guessing we’ll spend no more than $300 total for everyone this year. I love giving tons of gifts, but it just doesn’t make sense where we are right now.

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