Faced with Economic Uncertainty and Rising Unemployment, Renters Keep Purchases Down and Holiday Spirits Up By Spending Wisely This Holiday Season
CHICAGO (December 8, 2009) –The National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey reports many Americans are choosing to pay down debt and pad their savings account ahead of spending money on gifts this year. These findings are supported by the results of a national Apartments.com survey revealing renters feel uneasy about the current economy and are approaching this holiday season more cautiously, choosing to save money by cutting back on holiday expenses and spending what they have set aside wisely.
The majority of renters surveyed said they are trimming back holiday budgets more this season compared to last. In fact, 65 percent of respondents said they are spending less on gifts, travel and entertainment this year than 2008 and 70 percent said they are keeping these holiday expenses under $500. More than 15 percent said they do not plan to celebrate the holidays at all. While nearly 30 percent of renters said they are pinching their pennies due to the loss of a job or taking a pay cut at work, 44 percent are being careful to save money in response to an uncertain economy.
Even during challenging times, renters are doing their best to make the most of their holiday celebrations by keeping costs low. To ensure they snag the best deal for their holiday dollar, renters are giving less and taking more time to research deals and consumer product reviews for gifts online. The top five holiday cost-savers ranked by renter survey respondents are:
- Cutting back on gifts or not exchanging at all (73%)
- Shopping online early to compare prices and research customer reviews (28%)
- Taking advantage of online promotions, coupons and free shipping (27%)
- Cancelling or cutting back on holiday travel or changing plans to a later date (16%)
- Emailing digital holiday cards (16%)
In addition to shopping smarter, most renters are being careful to only spend what they have. More than 70 percent of renters surveyed said they are choosing to pay for their holiday purchases through their checking and debit accounts or with cash.
- Cut costs by getting online. To stretch holiday budgets further, begin shopping for gifts online. For the best deals, shop and compare prices on multiple retail websites, take advantage of online promotions and read consumer reviews. Also, shipping may be free when a specified price limit is met.
- Set a gift-giving budget. When times are hard, it’s best to discuss the option of a gift-giving budget with loved ones to cut back on costs. Be careful not to exceed the limit! While it might seem like a generous act in the moment, going overboard with a gift that costs more than the agreed amount will only embarrass the recipient and anyone else who participated in the exchange.
- Save bank by giving from the heart. It’s true that it’s the thought that counts. Think of ways to make meaningful and memorable gifts instead of spending the most money. Try selecting, or making, gifts that involve special memories.
- Holiday paper is so passé. Wrapping paper is old news. Be creative and make gifts that pop, while saving money, by using kids’ artwork, old maps, travel brochures, comics, newspapers or old pieces of fabric. Instead of buying gift tag, use last year’s holiday cards.
For more money-saving tips this holiday season, visit the Apartment Living section of Apartments.com and read Holiday Gift Guide – Tricky Situations Made Simple.
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 email@example.com.