November and December are usually a flurry of holiday gatherings, giveaways, and celebrations. Whether it’s a huge Thanksgiving dinner, giving gifts around Christmas and Hanukkah, or toasting the New Year, the holidays are busy. This year they may also seem more expensive. More than a quarter (27%) of holiday shoppers say the holidays will strain their budget.
Knowing the costs of common vacation purchases will help you budget and make informed spending decisions. Read on for a breakdown of what you can expect to spend during the 2022 holiday season.
Key insights into the exchange rate on vacation spending in 2022
- 65% of vacation shoppers don’t plan to have money set aside or budgeted for future vacation purchases.
- 27% of vacation shoppers expect to go into debt for vacation purchases.
- 44% of holiday shoppers who make less than $40,000 a year say inflation will change the way they shop.
- Of those planning overnight leisure trips between Thanksgiving and New Years, 24% plan to take fewer trips.
- Of those planning overnight leisure trips between Thanksgiving and New Years, 25% plan to choose less expensive accommodations and/or destinations.
- Of those planning overnight leisure trips between Thanksgiving and New Years, 25% plan to indulge in less expensive activities.
- 41% of Americans generally feel unprepared for an impending recession.
Holiday Spending Snapshot: What to Expect in 2022
According to research by Deloitte, US holiday shoppers plan to spend around $1,455 this season. It’s actually about the same as last year, when the average shopper expected to spend around $1,463. However, in 2022 the funds don’t go that far: the average shopper is expected to buy just nine gifts, down from 16 last year.
Here’s how total spend breaks down for the average holiday shopper:
- $880 in gifts
- $373 in non-gift purchases
- $575 in experiences
After a record holiday season in 2021, Americans are expected to spend a total of $942.6 billion to $960.4 billion this season, an increase of 6-8% from last year, according to the latest report from the National Retail Federation.
Because shoppers are spending more on items due to inflation, the National Retail Federation says households will use more savings and credit to shop during the holidays.
The timing of purchases is also affected, with Americans starting to shop earlier than usual. According to Bankrate, 65% of shoppers say they started buying items in November.
In total, about 38% of buyers planned to start early this year, and buyers planned to spend about a quarter of their budget by October, according to Deloitte. The shopping schedule for the average American should be:
- $329 by the end of October
- $230 during the first half of November
- $433 during the second half of November
- $259 during the first half of December
- $187 during the second half of December
- $17 in January
However, last year shoppers expected to spend $461 in the second half of November and $310 in the first half of December.
Online shopping is also expected to increase, and Americans are expected to use between 10% and 12% of their vacation funds for online shopping. Online vacation shoppers are expected to spend a combined national total of between $262.8 billion and $267.6 billion.
Buyers in different income brackets have different mindsets about how to stretch their vacation funds. Here’s how shoppers of different incomes plan to approach holiday spending:
Those earning at least $80,000 were the least likely to expect to be affected by inflationary price increases and were the most likely to plan to put money aside for holiday shopping. Additionally, those earning between $40,000 and $79,900 expected to feel the greatest budget pressure due to the holidays, and they were almost as likely as those earning less than $40,000 to change their purchases due to inflation.
Average Holiday Gift Costs
When selecting gifts for loved ones, most holiday shoppers spend the largest percentage of their budget on clothing, gift cards and electronics, but shoppers are generally spending less on each category of gifts this year, for example. compared to previous years.
Here’s how 2022 holiday spending breaks down for each retail category:
|Retail Category||Average spend by category in 2022||Average spend by category in 2021|
|Clothes and accessories||$262||$304|
|Gift cards and more||$252||$235|
|Electronics and accessories||$209||$243|
|Food and drink||$202||$220|
|home and kitchen||$177||$193|
|Toys and hobbies||$157||$187|
|health and wellbeing||$126||$156|
Sources: Deloitte Holiday Trade Survey 2022 and Deloitte Holiday Trade Survey 2021
As supply chain issues and inflation rise, gift cards are becoming a popular alternative to physical gifts. Shoppers expect to spend $252 on gift cards this year, up 7% from last year’s total of $235. Likewise, 54% of consumers are requesting gift cards this year, according to the NRF.
Average Vacation Spending by Age
When it comes to how different generations buy for the holidays, age doesn’t necessarily indicate a larger budget. Baby boomers are among the generations with the lowest vacation budgets and are estimated to spend $1,199 during the season. According to a recent PWC study, only Gen Z, 20% of whom earn less than $25,000 a year, will spend less, saying they estimate they will spend $1,104 during the season.
Millennials expect to spend the most, with an average holiday budget of $1,823. Millennials are also the most likely to travel, and they tend to spend more on themselves than on family and friends, with a focus on health and wellness or pet-related items. company.
Here’s the total breakdown of how different age brackets plan to spend this holiday season:
How to Save on Holiday Gifts in 2022
If the cost of gifts and experiences seems out of your budget this year, there are ways to show your loved ones you care and have a memorable vacation.
- make a budget. Budgeting, either for your total spending or per person on your list, allows you to cap your spending on gifts and prioritize how you want to allocate holiday funds.
- In-store sales and discounts. Holiday sales seem to start earlier every year, but they can be valuable ways to save money. Current Black Friday deals apply to electronics, appliances, mattresses and more. But try comparing the prices of your gifts at several different retailers throughout the fall and winter, or comparing retailers that offer discounts on common gifts, like toys, each year.
- Shop locally or in person. Support a local business, while avoiding shipping costs and delays. While you might not be able to get everything on your list at local stores, it can be a great way to get last-minute gifts or items you might not have expected.
- Gift time and homemade items instead of buying gifts. Helping with the preparations or bringing homemade treats can be a wonderful gift instead of spending money on expensive gifts.
- Start planning for next year. Building your budget for next year will allow you to start a nest egg for gifts and experiences, and will be less impacted by the budget in November and December. Holiday decorations and other non-perishable items will also often be returned after the season is over.
Bankrate.com commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct three separate surveys, each on the following topics: winter holiday shopping habits in 2022, holiday travel in 2022 and feelings about the possibilities of a coming recession in 2022 and 2023. All figures unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc.
The total sample size for the 2022 winter holiday shopping pattern survey was: 2,415 adults, including 1,813 2022 winter holiday shoppers. Fieldwork was conducted between August 17 and 19, 2022. The survey was conducted online and meets rigorous quality standards. . It used a non-probability sample using upstream quotas during collection and then a downstream weighting scheme designed and tested to provide nationally representative results.
The total sample size for the survey conducted on holiday travel in 2022 was: 2,455 adults, including 1,055 who plan to travel for holidays and 829 who require travel reservations. Fieldwork was undertaken September 7-9, 2022. The survey was conducted online and met rigorous quality standards. It used a non-probability sample using upstream quotas during collection and then a downstream weighting scheme designed and tested to provide nationally representative results.
The total sample size for the survey conducted on the possibilities of a future recession in 2022 and 2023 was: 2,390 adults. The fieldwork was undertaken between 27 and 29 July 2022. The survey was conducted online and meets rigorous quality standards. It used a non-probability sample using upstream quotas during collection and then a downstream weighting scheme designed and tested to provide nationally representative results.
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