Christmas generates about $435 billion worth of economic activity each year in the United States alone. But how much does the average family spend on Christmas? 2005 statistics show that the average New Zealand family spends $900. In England 43% of parents spend between $189 and 378 per child and 24% between $378 and $945. In the United States the average American will spend about $750 dollars on gifts and accessories. So for a family with two adults that is a total of $1500.
That is a lot of money. Especially when you consider that for many families the gifts are bought using credit cards. Then there are the families that have next to nothing to spend. So to make the averages so high there are some families that are spending thousands of dollars per child for Christmas presents.
Today the Playstation 3 was released and many parents went on a spending frenzy in hopes of purchasing one for a child for Christmas. My husband really tried to get one with hopes of selling it on E-bay. So he’s been watching the prices. The cheapest gaming console sold for $4,300. The highest bid was $30,000. The average price was between $7 and $10,000. I think that spending $30,000 for a video game console that costs $450 from the store is crazy. As I told my husband there are obviously a lot of wealthy people with very spoiled children. Of course there are not very many consoles for sale so those parents who really want one for their child have to be willing to spend a lot of money.
But that’s my point. Why is it necessary to spend so much money on Christmas presents? I don’t usually spend a lot on Christmas presents for my children. My budget is less than $100 per child. There are a few reasons the amount is lower than average. First, I don’t want my children spoiled. They don’t really need lots of expensive toys to be happy. My girls’ favorite things are their homemade dress up clothes and $10 baby dolls. Second, I don’t want to go into debt for Christmas presents. If we do not have the money then I do not spend it. Third, we try and donate some of the money we would spend on our children to charity, buying gifts for Toys for Tots, and sub for Santa families. Last year I did spend more since my son received a dirt bike for Christmas. But this year he’s back under a $100.
To make the money stretch as far as possible I watch for sales throughout the whole year. I also shop on E-bay and more budget friendly stores. As my children get a little older I will probably spend a little more on Christmas because the gifts that older want are just more expensive. But I will never be willing to spend thousands of dollars on something like a video game system.
How much do you spend on each child for Christmas?
Check out the forum discussion on this topic: Christmas spending.
See related blogs:
Who’s Ready to SHOP? -Some Holiday Gift Ideas For Kids