Economic concerns are going to be put on hold during the upcoming holiday season.
Four out of five adults expect to spend the same amount or more on holiday presents in 2012, according to a study that was conducted by Research Now and released by Oxygen Media. Almost half of adults (47%) indicated that they spend more than they can afford during the holiday season, with 36% saying they have gone into credit card debt in order to buy gifts.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans spend more during the holiday season than at any other time of the year including vacations, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day. Among the findings: 81% feel obligated to give gifts to those who give to them; and 54% spend at least $500 on gifts; 25% drop $1,000 more on holiday presents. On average, Americans, according to the study, spend almost twice as much on gifts for a significant other ($323) compared to anyone else including parents ($152), children ($172), and close friends ($58).
Among Oxygen’s target of young females 18 to 34, the Research Now study found that this group plans less and give less practical gifts during the holiday season compared to women 35 to 49. The research revealed that young women are less likely to buy gifts that are on sale compared to older women (76% vs. 84%); 75% of young women tend to give gifts that aren’t practical (vs. 66% among older women); and 47% of this segment indicated that they leave their holiday shopping to the last minute (vs. 37% among older women).
The release of the study coincides with Oxygen’s docuseries My Shopping Addiction, which airs Mondays at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) and provided an authentic look into the lives of young people in crisis due to a dangerous addiction to shopping.
"During the holiday season all of the stores have sales to try to pull us in and get us to spend more,” said Dr. David Tolin, a licensed psychologist and addiction expert featured on Oxygen’s My Shopping Addiction. "For people with shopping addictions it can be a particularly dangerous time. This holiday season, instead of buying present after present, try doing something special for people you care about and letting them know how you feel.”