According to the results of a new survey from the Pay It Plan It division of American Express, not only did 86% of this age demographic say yes to overspending, but of that group, 21% said they exceeded the desired threshold by $500 or more, CNBC reported. .
But it was the type of gift they bought that really made the dollars add up: 69% said electronics were the highest-value item that boosted their pocketbook, while 57% said children’s toys and 38% said jewelry.
Looking ahead to this Christmas season, the majority of those surveyed plan spend at least $100 by gift recipient, which may not sound like much until you consider that your gift list can be pretty deep with parents, siblings, friends, grandparents and children to consider, according to CNBC.
A Think With Google report a few years ago found that millennials had 28% more people to shop with year over year. And that’s not to mention that they also like to buy each other gifts during the holidays. Inc magazine found that 37% take pleasure in self gift as a stress reliever.
They’re not just gifts, either. Last Christmas, Lending Tree reported that a survey of 2,000 people found that 30% planned organize christmas parties, with millennials contributing the largest spend by far, on average, $981. Additionally, the report noted, “To help cover these expenses, 55% of millennials say they may have to go into debt to do so.”
But there are several ways to cut costs this season to avoid those pitfalls, experts advise, and they’re good ideas for anyone at any age:
Set a budget and stick to it. Write down only what you plan to buy and stick to it. Have a total dollar amount in mind and using your smartphone will help you stay focused.
Find all offers. The holidays are very competitive for retailers – look for deals from apps like Target Circle or Walmart+ and check your credit cards to see if they offer cash back programs.
Take advantage of credit card parks. Do you have outstanding rewards from the last 12 months of purchases? Start exchanging them for gifts. Or open a new credit card to take advantage of the benefits of the new account; just make sure you can pay off balances at the end of the season to avoid further debt.
Buy “old” electronics. If you can’t afford to give away the iPhone 14, the 13 model is just as good and will cost you several hundred less. Just because it’s not new doesn’t mean it’s still not very valuable.
Don’t get caught up in a shopping “holiday”. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a big trap for buying more than you intended and going over budget at the same time. Remember, there are still four weeks left in the season.
Always consider shipping costs. Many people now prefer to shop online. When doing so, factor in what the cost of shipping might be as part of your budget (or look for e-commerce sites that offer free shipping).
Invest in discount gift cards and use them to pay for your shopping list. Sites like Raise and Gift Card Granny offer gift cards to dozens of retailers for 10% off the regular price. Buy them and use them as your Christmas shopping funds; could add up to real savings.
Homemade gifts are also great. It really is the thought that counts, especially when it comes to parents and grandparents who love nothing more than homemade gifts like those that bring back fond family memories.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 86% of Millennials Overspend During the Holidays: 8 Ways to Avoid Your Mistakes