Survey: 1 in 3 consumers say they’ll spend less than $50 on their priciest gift this holiday

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Survey: 1 in 3 consumers say they’ll spend less than $50 on their priciest gift this holiday
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A lot of Americans are going to resist the urge to splurge on expensive gifts this holiday season. Those are the results from a new poll from CreditCards.com.

The site surveyed 1,093 people about their holiday spending plans and found that only 53% of them said they will fork over $50 or more on their most expensive gift this year. Now, you may be saying “Waaait a minute, the latest Call of Duty game for the Playstation 4 costs double that!” And that’s true, but this year you may find your stocking stuffed with cheaper items than in previous years.

The survey also indicated that a third of respondents, about 35%, said they will spend less than $50 on their biggest gift, while 12% said they were skipping gift-giving altogether.

The numbers indicate that Americans may be pulling back a bit after spending themselves into near-record credit card debt earlier this year. In August, the Federal Reserve reported that debt had reached $1.021 trillion, a mark not seen since the Great Recession of 2008.

U.S. consumers opting for less pricey gifts this holiday, survey says

In addition to spending less money overall, the survey suggests that Americans were opting for smaller gifts this year rather than big expensive ones.

“I think it’s encouraging, because although we might usually think that the more expensive the gift, the better it is, that’s often not the case,” Evan Polman, a University of Wisconsin marketing professor, was said. Polman has previously done research on gift giving. “As a recipient, you’re usually just as happy to receive an expensive gift as you are an inexpensive gift. There is some truth to ‘It’s the thought that counts.’”

Merchants expect retail sales to increase in November and December, but the big spenders will likely be a smaller percentage of shoppers this year. The survey indicated that only 9% of likely shoppers said that they will spend more than $250 on a gift.

Money expert Clark Howard advises that we brush up on our negotiating skills before shopping. Haggling for a cheaper price not only gives the shopper an opportunity to save money, but it tilts the leverage in the favor of the buyer. You’d be surprised to learn how much wiggle room there may be in a delivery fee or a listed price — but you have to ask.

If you really want to save some money, you might try making your gifts. You’d be surprised at the treasure trove of ideas you could find in that old cookbook in your kitchen.

RELATED: Here are 10 last-minute, affordable gifts

Here are 3 easy-to-make Christmas gifts

As a responsible consumer, no doubt you have a budget this holiday season. So you may be looking for some DIY gift ideas that are easy on the pocket. Here are three items that are easy to make (and bake) that will make excellent gifts.

  • Homemade Christmas cookies
  • DIY coasters (made from scrapbook paper)
  • Cookies in a jar

Taking into account the survey and consumer debt, it looks like affordable gifts will be all the rage this holiday season. A survey we wrote about a couple years ago indicated that people actually prefer practical gifts instead of the latest and greatest gadget for the holiday.

And you know what survey respondents said was the best gift of all? Cash. Nearly 60% of folks said they’d take greenbacks over gift cards any day of the week — and who can blame them?

RELATED: 20 of the best gifts under $25

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