If you plan on spending more during the holiday season this year, you’re in good company. But don’t blame it all on gift giving.
According to a new survey by Deloitte, Americans plan to spend $487 on gifts for others this year (up 6% from last year), but that only accounts for about one-third (33%) of what we plan to spend total.
Overall, the corporate consults say Americans plan to shell out $1,462 during the 2015 holidays – up 13% from last year.
So where’s the rest of that cash going?
The biggest ticket item, next to gifts for others, is attending holiday events away from home, which accounts for 24% of that budget, or $348.
Entertaining at home is the next biggest expense — $212 at 15% of the budget.
Purchasing clothing that is not a gift accounts for 12% of the budget at $182, while holiday home furnishings account for 9% at $124. And 8% of the budget goes into the “other” category ($110), which is any other holiday-related spending.
“Most people think only about gifts when they make their holiday shopping budget, but there are many other expenses that get overlooked that can send your spending soaring,” consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch toldMarketWatch.
Woroch is right. All expenses count toward the holiday budget, not only gifts. It’s easy to overlook that.
Undeniably, many of us – if not that vast majority — are guilty of splurging a little too much during the holidays. Indeed, half of shoppers plan on purchasing gifts for themselves this year while shopping for others, according to Deloitte.
Maybe it’s the new Apple TV (something I’ve been eyeing), or an outfit that you think would be perfect for a holiday work party.
But the fact is, we can all cut down on our spending during the holidays.
(Remember our post on 5 ways we waste money on the holidays?)
First, create a budget. Only 44% of individuals that Deloitte surveyed said they had a specific budget for holiday spending. Without a budget, spending can get pretty out of control.
Then be mindful of where your money is going. And track it. Use a tool like Mint.com, Quicken, a spreadsheet or even a sheet of paper and a pencil. Whatever it takes.
And keep in mind, if you limit your spending to gifts and holiday events, you’ll cut down greatly on the overall cost.
In addition, MarketWatch suggests cashing in rewards to pay for holiday gifts and talking to friends and family about holiday spending.
“There’s no shame in telling people that this year will be a lean holiday season when it comes to exchanging gifts,” Steve Siebold, author of the book “How Rich People Think,” tells MarketWatch.