With Christmas just around the corner and a lot of your reading this probably scrambling to get all those gifts together, perhaps you should stop for a second and think.
I’d never think to recommend that you don’t spend money on your loved ones this year, but have you been spending too much?
Recent studies suggest that you may very well be. Let’s take a look at this collection of surveys here from That Sweet Gift.
These studies were conducted using a sample size of over 4,000 people spanning across the United States and the United Kingdom.
Some of the results may surprise you. As you can see, the average couple in the US is spending between $115 and $140 on a gift for their significant other.
It might not seem like all that much, but if you really think about the true cost of that, it seems ridiculous. The average weekly paycheck in the US is only about $800.
So people are spending almost a quarter of a single weeks wages on gifts for just one person. If you consider that most of us have far more than one person to buy for, this statistic is unsettling.
Most people probably don’t sit down after Christmas and have a look back at how much they spent on gifts.
That’s probably because they subconsciously know that it was too much, but if they actually did they match they would be probably be certain that they went overboard.
Consider another statistic from this study for a moment. The overall average of people surveyed who ended up never using a particular gift they received is a whopping 41%.
Almost half of the people out there end up with something that was actually just a complete waste of money.
A lot of the time we are just buying gifts as a matter of obligation. Not because we know it’s something that the other person wants, just because it’s what’s expected.
Perhaps the most unnerving statistic here surrounds the people ] who are aware that they can’t afford as much gifts as they want to buy and take extra measures.
5% will take out a loan, another 6% are borrowing money and then there is that 14% of people in America are selling other possessions.
Sounds like we’re getting a little desperate during the holiday season doesn’t it? Here’s another telling resource from the Independent in the UK.
Families with kids younger than 18 are spending upwards of £2,500 per year. Now the adults surveyed on That Sweet Gift are on thing, but anyone with kids knows the struggle with toys.
Many of the toys are forgotten about within weeks and end up gathering dust somewhere, and a lot of them don’t ever get touched at all.
So with all of that in mind, I think it’s time we all accept that we just go way, way overboard on Christmas shopping.
We’re spending money that we don’t have on stuff that we don’t need. In my opinion, it should stop as soon as possible. Why not stop this year?
Just to be clear, I don’t mean that you should stop buying Christmas gifts altogether, but it’s time that we made some difficult choices.
Make some important changes. Set yourself a budget, be on the lookout for the cheapest options and don’t fall into any traps that you think are bargains.
Most important thing though, most people you’re buying for won’t be that bothered by you not overdoing it. They’ll almost certainly be satisfied with less than you think they want.
So enjoy Christmas and be generous to your loved ones, but spend wisely.