San Francisco, California – December 19, 2011 – A new survey conducted this past weekend by Visa Inc. shows that 77% of consumers still need to buy holiday gifts this week. These last-minute shoppers will spend an average of $278 in the final days leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah.
Procrastination is running rampant this year, with 13% of consumers planning to purchase all of their gifts in this final week. The survey data also shows that 8% of shoppers will purchase three quarters of their gifts this week, while 16% will purchase half of the gifts on their list this week. And 51% of consumers will be purchasing a quarter of their gifts this week.
"With this many Americans still desperate to buy gifts, we are officially in the red zone for 'panic shopping'," said Jason Alderman, Visa's Senior Director of Global Financial Education. "When shoppers panic, they throw money at the problem and often overspend to get a gift – any gift – in time for the holidays."
Whether it's a procrastinator or a savvy consumer who is just holding out for potential last minute bargains, there is less than a week to go in the holiday shopping season. To that end, Visa offers consumers some tips to help ensure that holiday cheer doesn't turn into a holiday hangover.
1. Even if you just have a week, it is imperative to make a realistic budget and stick with it. Spend no more than 1.5 percent of annual income on holiday expenses. For a family earning $50,000 a year, that means spending no more than $750 on all aspects of the holidays.
2. Have a 'micro budget' – a specific spending limit – for each person on your gift list.
3. Join together with family members to help those who may be less fortunate and make your gifts to each other a group contribution to a charity.
4. Consider giving an experience that can be redeemed after Christmas, like a home cooked gourmet meal.
5. Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life offers a free online holiday budgeting calculator. Click here to access the calculator.
About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks–VisaNet–that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html.
*The survey results are based on 1,000 telephone interviews conducted nationally from December 16 – 18, 2011 in cooperation with GfK Roper OmniTel.