Holiday spending expected to be down

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 12/18/2013 5:46 pm
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Is it a typical response prior to the arrival of those Christmas bills, or do shoppers really mean it this year. Thirty-eight percent of Americans surveyed by BankRate.com "say" they are spending less this holiday season. That may be their intent, but does it really pan out?

According to a new survey, only 14-percent of Americans plan to spend more this year on holiday shopping.

"I'll probably spend more this year. Because I'm just feeling more generous," shopper Juanita Parsons said.

"Oh probably a little bit more. Because I can," shopper Bob Parsons said.

BankRate.com's poll indicates for the first time since September, feelings of job security are positive. Those conducting the survey say it is a sure sign of recovery from the government shutdown and debt ceiling worries.

"Yeah, everyone seems to be having good traffic, good sales. When you talk to the customers from all the different walks of life, everyone seems to have had a good year. They seem happy and optimistic and are giving generously. It's really nice to see," business owner Scott Malouf said.

Malouf says sales at his boutique, Drest, have been pretty consistent with last year's.

"So far we're about out the same level as last year," Malouf said.

Americans' feelings of financial security is now at its highest level since August. And 25-percent of Americans feel better about their finances than last year.

"It just depends. Like what I'm looking for this year, I don't have anything in mind," shopper April Cantu said.

47-percent of shoppers plan to spend about the same amount as last year.

"I think it's about medium," shopper Britney Walker said. "I got some of it done. I did a cash limit this year. We're about done. Because we're cotton farmers, and this year was kind of tight. I just didn't want to go over a limit. The kids don't need anymore toys."

"I've got six kids. And yes, I definitely have to be on a budget for Christmas," shopper Danika Blackwell said.

38-percent plan to spend less.

"I think probably less," shopper Kristy Wright said. "Because we're trying to teach that it's not all about material. It's more spiritual. So that's what we're doing this year."

Even if you are sticking to a budget, sometimes you just get caught up in the holiday spirit.

"When it comes down to it, people enjoy the holidays," Malouf said. "If they see something they like, and it's for someone that they love, it seems to be something that they buy."

"Sometimes if I see something that I know my mom or my sister just has to have, sometimes it's easy to just put it on that credit card. So I probably will go over, like I do every year. But it's nice to have a budget because I feel better about it. Like, at least I tried," shopper Bryce Looney said.

Whether you are spending more, spending less, or staying on track.... It is important to remember that it is the thought that counts.

To view the full survey, click here.
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