Here are some consumer holiday spending facts to ponder…
In 2010 consumers spent an estimated $648 million on Black Friday. This year, according to ComScore, consumers spent a whopping $816 million online alone, making Black Friday the heaviest spending day on the Internet so far in 2011. That’s a Black Friday sales increase of about 26% since last year.
However, all the shopping madness wasn’t over on Black Friday. Last year, Cyber Monday sales reached an all time high of $1.028 billion, and Forbes originally estimated that the current trend would hold, thus, this year’s sales would increase. Forbes was right on the money. MarketLive, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise-class eCommerce technology and services, just announced that 2011 Cyber Monday revenue increased 26 percent over last year. According to comScore, this year’s Cyber Monday was the biggest online spending day in history, with revenues of $1.25 billion in the United States.
On top of that… Consumer Reports notes that not only do shoppers spend more than they plan on these mega shopping days, but 45% of Americans who made a budget last year exceeded it and about 14.1 million adults are still carrying debt from the 2010 holiday season.
The National Retail Federation forecasts that the average American will spend around $700+ on holiday shopping in 2011, and those figures are likely low, since every year many consumers go well over budget. In any case, this is completely unnecessary. Plus keep in mind that these statistics are regarding individuals, not families. Typically, in a family with two parents, research says they’ll BOTH spend that average $700+, so in reality many two-parent families are spending anywhere from $1,400 to $2,000 a year on Christmas. Worst of all, most of this money isn’t even going toward an eco-friendly holiday.
How much I spent in 2010
Last year, I tracked my spending carefully, and I spent about $250 on everything Christmas related, including gifts, food, decor and everything else. Keep in mind that except for one item (Legos), all the gifts I gave were eco-friendly too, so the whole idea of having to spend more for a green holiday is bunk. Had I gotten my act together and made some homemade gifts, I’d have spent even less. This year, my goal is to have a fun holiday while spending even less $.
This isn’t about hating on Christmas
This isn’t about being a Grinch and killing Christmas dreams. I like Christmas as much as anyone. However, I don’t like how it’s become so commercial, so stuff oriented and less about family celebrations. I’m also not advocating a perfectly stuff-free Christmas. Gifts are nice, it’s all the excessive behavior that gets me. I think consumer holidays are especially detrimental to kids and I also think you can have both gifts and family time without all the super greedy consumerism issues.
* 50 ideas about how to have a nicer, less consumer, more family focused Christmas (coming soon)