Tag Archives: holiday spending

Twelve Days of Spending

partridgeEvery year they take that old carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and determine how much all of the items listed would cost, and compare it to last year. It’s goofy fun, but it also helps paint a picture of the overall economy.

This year’s picture is not so merry, sadly.  Sure, the cost of 10 Lords Leaping is up 3% over last year. Partridges and turtle doves are up, too, due to rising feed prices. Otherwise, this year’s total is pretty flat, and that supposedly points to a “bah, humbug” economy.

So how will Gold Rings, French Hens and Pipers Piping hit your budget this year? The PNC Wealth Management Christmas Price Index has it all figured out! Let’s take a look!

  • Partridge, $25; up $5
  • Pear tree, $190; up $2
  • Two turtle doves, $290; up $30
  • Three French hens, $182; same
  • Four calling birds (canaries), $600; same
  • Five golden rings, $750; same
  • Six geese-a-laying, $360; same
  • Seven swans a-swimming, $13,125; same
  • Eight maids a-milking, $58; same
  • Nine ladies dancing, $7,553; same
  • Ten lords a-leaping, $5,508; up $160
  • 11 pipers piping, $2,635; same
  • 12 drummers drumming, $2,855; same

To see how they came up with these numbers, be sure to check out the original article. So, what do you think? Unless you’re buying the same stuf this holiday season as you did last year, it’s hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison. But, do you FEEL like you are spending more, less or the same? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great second-to-last shopping weekend!

Online Spending and Trending

online-holiday-shoppingA survey by the Marist Poll, entitled “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Last Year” states it pretty bluntly: The hope that an improving economy would spur holiday shopping does not seem to be materializing.

But while spending isn’t up much, they point out the way we split opur shopping time and dollars. Across the board, online shopping keeps nibbling away at the total.

What are we spending compared to last year?

  • 52% expect to spend about the same
  • 10% plan to spend more this year
  • 38% think they will spend less.

…numbers almost identical to 2012

Where are we purchasing?

  • 19% strictly online, up from 14% in 2012
  • 41% buy some online, some brick & mortar, unchanged
  • 40% brick & mortar only, down from 44% last year

Regional differences in online buying?

  • Northeast: 28%, up from 19% last year
  • South: 17%, up from 12%
  • Midwest: 16%, up from 11%
  • West: 18%, up from 16%

Online buying age gap? Yep.

  • Under 45: 27% mostly online shopping, up from 20% last year
  • Over 45: 13% mostly online, up from 11%

More stats and analysis at the original piece, so, you know, check it out! So, do you see yourself in these numbers? Are your shopping habits changing? Online more? Brick& mortar less? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page.

Holiday Spending 2013

christmas_spending-258x300Ah, statistics. How much are we spending this holiday season? You can ask 5 different experts and get 5 different interpretations of the numbers. What seems to be universal is that we still aren’t back to where we were in 2007, before everything went wacky, but slowly (painfully slowly) we are clawing our way back. Of course, that’s relative too. Is spending $800 per family at holiday time something we SHOULD be striving toward? I’m not so sure.

Anyway, here’s the latest look at Holiday Spending by the Numbers, 2013 edition, courtesy of Mint.com.

  • 2007: The year holiday spending peaked, before the crash
  • 39%: How much spending went down in 2008
  • 2009: The year holiday spending bottomed out
  • $682: The low point, per family, in 2009
  • $750: what we worked our way up to, per family, in 2012. Expected to rise again in 2013
  • $400: How much we spent on family gifts, 2012
  • $75: Gifts for friends, 2012
  • $25: Gift for co-workers, 2012
  • 60%: The number of us that bought gifts for ourselves, 2012
  • $224: The amount moms spend on each child and spouse
  • #1: The most requested gift on wish lists: Gift cards!

The article is full of stats from different survey firms. Sometimes the numbers differ, but the trends seem stop hold up across the board. It also offers for tips to cut costs (I’m going to guess “buying gifts for yourself” is the first to go!) So check it out!

How about you? Are you spending the same? Less? More? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great (shopping) weekend!

Holiday Shopping by the Numbers, 2012

11454642-christmas-shopping-cart-with-giftsCaution: mind-numbing statistics ahead! Discover card has released their annual Holiday Shopping Survey. The survey looks at how much we are spending, on what and for whom. It also has a list of what men and women would most like to receive. Here’s a boildown…

  • $100: each family will probably increase their shopping by this much in 2012
  • $838: the average amount spent
  • $165: how much more women will spend than men.
  • 51%: how many actually set a budget for holiday spending
  • 42%: men who plan to sell their pocket watches to buy a fancy comb for their wives
  • 53%: women who plan to sell their hair to buy chains for their husbands’ pocket watches

I was going to say I made up those last two, but it was actually O. Henry.

Who are we buying for?

  • 42% for our children
  • 26% for significant other
  • 06% for friends
  • 01% for boss or co-workers

Where are we shopping?

  • 60% some combination of store and online
  • 14% majority online
  • 96% of online shoppers use their computer, only 4% use tablet or smartphone

What affects our buying decisions?

  • 42% sales and promotions
  • 27% household financial situation
  • 13% getting or losing a job

And the most important question…

What do we want?

Men top 5:

1. Gift cards, 2. Money, 3. Consumer electronics, 4. Games/video games, 5. Apparel

Women top 5:

1. Gift cards, 2. Money, 3. Apparel, 4. Jewelry, 5. Tablet or e-reader

I always say “read the original article for more info” like I am the boss of you or something. But those Top 5’s are actually Top 10’s in the original, and I’m glad I found them!  Also, notes on gender: as a great philosopher (Sinbad) once said, “women be shoppin, y’all!” But this article really shows how women are just better at it. Finding bargains, comparison shopping… it was really interesting. Anyway, read the original article for more info! And have a great weekend!

(photo: 123rf.com)

Halloween by the Numbers!

My house, every Halloween!

In my house, as a kid and as an adult, we always did it up for Halloween. And, looking back, I don’t remember ever dialing it down very much during hard times. Apparently, that is still the case in the US!

Here are some stats:

  • 70: The % of Americans celebrating Halloween in 2012.
  • 170 million: The number of Americans in the “Halloween market” this year.
  • 8 billion: The amount of $$$ we will spend for Halloween in 2012.
  • 80: The amount of $$$ spent by each person. Up $8 from last year.

So, how does Halloween avoid our belt-tightening?

Halloween has been one of the few annual events that we’re willing to shell out plenty of bucks for, almost certainly because of the escapism we feel by dressing up like Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. We also have few qualms about dressing up our pets like Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. Time Magazine

And to illustrate that last point, the article says that we will spend $370 million on pet costumes this year, up about 25% from 2011!

So, how about your family? Is Halloween a big deal? Have you cut back on the spending the past couple of years, or not?

The Cost of Easter

Sorry, the art department took Good Friday off

It’s the big Spring holiday weekend. It’s Good Friday, Passover begins at sundown, and Sunday is Easter. These are serious, revered occasions, but also a time to gather and celebrate:

Easter is also a family celebration — a day to wear Easter dresses and, perhaps, Easter hats, hunt for eggs and welcome spring. It can be expensive. This year, spending a total of $16.8 billion. That’s an average of $145.28 each, up 11 percent from 2011.  Bloomberg News

How do we spend that money?

Candy: Easter is the 2nd-biggest candy holiday behind Halloween. We will eat 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies, 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, and about 16 billion jellybeans this year.

Easter Baskets: Prices range from a couple of bucks at the dollar store, to a $70 (or higher) Longaberger.

Decorating Eggs: Eggs became popular at Easter because eating them was forbidden during Lent. Today, we buy 10 million egg-dyeing kits at $4 to $13 each

The Easter Dinner: We will spend $5.5 billion on food this Easter. 33 million of us will dine out. And, of course, we eat HAM. Um, not for Passover, obviously!

Flowers: Easter and Passover combine to account for the 4th-biggest flower holiday. We will spend about $11 for Easter flowers, or over a billion dollars!

Greeting Cards: We will send 57 million Easter cards and spend about $7 each, or over $800 million.

So that’s the tally, and there’s more at the original article. Now, FORGET the cost, and enjoy your family and your holiday! Happy Easter and Happy Pesach from MindField Online!!