12/18: Holiday Spending Status Quo… Weight Loss Top Resolution for 2015

With Chanukah underway and just one week until Christmas, many Americans who purchase holiday gifts won’t be cutting corners on their seasonal shopping.  A majority of holiday shoppers say they plan to spend about the same amount of money as they did last year, and more than one in ten gift givers intends to spend more.  Although down from last year, financial concerns are top of mind for nearly one-third of shoppers who report they will be cutting back this holiday season.

How are shoppers making their purchases?  Sixin ten plan to use cash to buy their holiday gifts, similar to last year.  About one in five expects to do most or all of their shopping online.

Looking to 2015, are Americans vowing to make a change?  More than four in ten Americans expect to make a resolution, and weight loss tops the list of improvements for the New Year.  However, more Americans have let their resolutions slide.  Of those who made a promise going into 2014, only 59% kept their word, down from 72% the previous year.  Men are slightly more likely than women to have kept their resolution.

Complete December 18, 2014 Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • A majority of Americans who spend money on holiday shopping, 55%, plans to spend the same amount of money as they did last year.  32% say they will spend less money, and 13% will spend more.  Fewer holiday shoppers expect to spend less than last year.  In 2013, 52% reported they intended to maintain the same level of spending as in the past.  Nearly four in ten, 38%, thought they would reduce their holiday expenditures, and 10% said they would spend more (Trend).
  • While there has been little change in the spending habits of holiday shoppers who earn $50,000 or more, there has been a positive shift in the spending of those who earn less.  Half of holiday shoppers who make less than $50,000, 50%, will spend about the same as last year, up from 43% in 2013.  36% of these shoppers expect to spend less, compared with 45% in 2013.
  • More than six in ten holiday shoppers who are 45 or older, 62%, say they will spend about the same amount of money as they did last year.  This compares with 53% in 2013 who reported they would spend about as much as the previous year.  Fewer Americans in this age group who purchase presents, 29%, expect to spend less, down from 40% in 2013.  There has been little change in the holiday spending habits of younger Americans.
  • Six in ten holiday shoppers, 60%, little changed from 63% last year, expect to mostly use cash when buying their holiday gifts.  37% plan to use, for the most part, credit cards, and 3% are unsure.
  • How do Americans who buy holiday gifts plan to make their purchases?  19% say they will do all or most of their shopping online.  44% will buy some of their seasonal purchases via the Internet while 38% don’t plan to use the Internet to purchase any of their holiday gifts.  There has been little change on this question since last year (Trend).
  • Turning to New Year’s resolutions, 44% of Americans, identical to last year, are very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2015.  Similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to resolve to change (Trend).  56% of those younger than 45, compared with 33% of those 45 and older, plan to make a change to their lifestyle.  Similar proportions of men, 43%, and women, 44%, are, at least, somewhat likely to make a resolution.
  • Weight loss is the top resolution this year cited by 13% of Americans who vow to make a change in 2015.  Exercising more follows with 10%.  Nine percent want to be a better person while 8% mention improving their health.  With 7% each, stopping smoking, spending less and saving more money, and eating healthier rounds out the top-tier in the complete list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions.  The top resolutions for 2014 were spending less and saving more, being a better person, and exercising more each with 12%.  Weight loss came in fourth with 11% while health improvements, eating healthier, and ceasing smoking each received 8% of those who were likely to make a resolution for 2014.
  • Among adults nationally who said they made a resolution for 2014, 59% kept their resolution for, at least, part of the year.  41% did not.  This is a change from the previous year (Trend).  Among those who made a resolution for 2013, 72% kept their word.
  • Men, 64%, are more likely than women, 55%, to report they stuck to their 2014 resolution for at least part of the year.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables