The Majority of Renters Surveyed Are Keeping Holiday Expenditures Under $200; Out-of-Town Travel, Gifts and Entertainment Costs Experience Significant Cutbacks
(CHICAGO) December 8, 2008 – The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared, last week, that the U.S. economy has been in a recession since December 2007. As the troubled housing market and credit crisis have contributed greatly to the current condition of the national economy, it is no surprise that renters are shopping smarter this holiday season than in the past by cutting back on overall expenses and credit card purchases, according to a national Apartments.com survey.
Nearly 60 percent of renters surveyed are celebrating the holidays differently this year compared to last by trimming holiday budgets by more than half for gifts, travel and entertainment. Gift-giving budgets are taking the biggest hit with renters spending 69 percent less this year than in 2007, closely followed by travel at 64 percent less and entertainment at 63 percent less.
To conserve holiday budgets, renters are being more creative in their approach to the holidays. While 18 percent said they are not exchanging gifts at all this year, others are making homemade gifts, purchasing gifts after the holidays and hosting more potluck dinners rather than going out to restaurants.
Renters are also staying local to reduce travel expenses with almost half celebrating the holidays close to home. In fact, 13 percent of renters who typically travel for the holidays are staying in town and another 10 percent are either cutting the length of their trip or moving the date. For the renters who are commuting over the holidays, 44 percent are driving their cars.
Renters are also being careful to spend only what they have and are keeping their credit cards tucked away. In fact, 80 percent of renters surveyed said they are paying by cash, check or debit card for the majority of their holiday expenses. Only eight percent said they are charging holiday purchases on a credit card. In an effort to keep the holidays affordable, the majority of renters are also not exceeding a holiday budget of $200 for expenses on entertainment, travel or gifts.
Apartments.com provides the following money-saving tips for cost-conscious renters looking to save money this holiday season without sacrificing the celebration:
- Stick to a list. Do not go to the mall to randomly search for gifts. Instead, create a detailed list of who you are buying gifts for and assign a price limit to each person before shopping. To conserve time and resources, use the Internet to compare store prices.
- Trim the fat. Skip the generous holiday leftovers and plan on serving one pound of meat per guest, or up to two pounds for some leftovers. Purchase canned pumpkin and cranberries, pre-made pie crusts or make bread crumbs out of bread ends from the kitchen as these convenient items can save money.
- Watch and…go! Sign up for special fare emails for alerts of sudden ticket fare reductions. Remember that rates are significantly less when traveling on the actual holiday (e.g. Thanksgiving or Christmas day). Airline fares are also generally lower when flying on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
For a complete list of money-saving tips on gifts, entertaining and traveling this holiday season, visit the Apartment Living section of Apartments.com and read Holiday Savers.
As part of its monthly What Renters Want research series, Apartments.com surveys renters on various topics. For more information on these surveys or to receive a copy of additional survey results, please contact Tammy Kotula at firstname.lastname@example.org.