Will 2013 be the year of the DIY holiday gift?
Surveys suggest we're spending carefully -- and that many of this year's tokens of affection will be handmade, partly to save money.
This year, 70% of of us plan to make something rather than buying it, according to the Capital One Holiday Survey. Among the most popular do-it-yourself holiday items, 43% of those surveyed would be making holiday baked goods, 42% would be preparing holiday meals, and 18% would be creating some of their own holiday decorations.
In addition, the Chase Freedom lifestyle index survey also showed a dramatic increase in year-over-year spending within the craft store category. These purchases were up 91%, suggesting a strong interest in creating home decorations and other do-it-yourself projects. The Chase Freedom lifestyle index survey is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends based on aggregated Chase Freedom cardholder spending data.
Other holiday trends
The economy is improving, but slowly. According to Shane Holdaway, managing vice president for Capital One, "We expect holiday spending this year to be not spectacular, but we should see a modest 3.5% to 4% growth over last year." He emphasized that consumers are still looking to get the most from their spending, and that often involves setting a holiday budget, but there are some problems with how they do so.
According to Capital One's holiday survey, 57% aren’t confident their significant other will stick to a holiday budget. This makes sense, considering that 40% of Americans with a significant other haven't discussed a holiday budget with him or her.
Another way some people are trying to save money this year is to be more selective about whom they give gifts to. Capital One's survey indicated that 32% would be more likely to cut a friend first from gift-giving to stay within budget. Twenty-six percent would cut out their bosses, but only 14% would let a significant other go without a gift. On the other hand, parents (children were not included as a choice) remained dear to people's hearts, as only 7% would cut back on holiday spending by not buying a gift for mom or dad.
How do credit card rewards fit in?
This year, credit card users plan on redeeming their rewards in a variety of ways. According to Capital One's Reward barometer survey, 23% indicated they plan on using the credit card rewards they earn from holiday shopping on a gift card for themselves, compared with 33% planning to use their rewards on spring or summer travel and 30% using their rewards to apply for cash to offset holiday expenses.
Many credit card issuers offer discounted gift cards to their cardholders as part of their rewards program. Capital One is one of them, offering 10% off of gift cards for Macy's, Barnes and Noble, Neiman Marcus and Marriott hotels. These offers are available to to any Capital One rewards cardholder. American Express is also offering discounts on several of the gift cards offered through its Membership Rewards program, such as cards from Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic and Williams-Sonoma.
Finally, Capital One's survey indicated that consumers want a rewards program that's simple. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said that removing spending thresholds and special categories would improve their experience earning rewards, compared with 30% last year.
Whether creating their own decorations, trimming gift lists or using credit card rewards to offset holiday spending, Americans clearly plan to spend carefully this holiday season.
More from Credit.com:
- 6 smart credit card strategies
- 5 things you should make instead of buy
- 4 holiday credit card strategies
Due to the an increase in my health insurance policy I plan to cut holiday spending this year. I just don't have extra money now.
I made both parts of one gift last year and half of another gift and both where bet with great appreciation. on left the receiver nearly in tears something she had mentions a year earlier about a item I had made and the other warranted immediate posts and boasting on face book. neither where any thing grand or over the top but it was the thought and personalized nature that made them special
not every one will want a made gift. for example a book worm might be just as happy with a new book or a copy of a favorite they had long lost. its not about store bought or hand made its about the meaning behind the gift and its special place in that persons life
When you seven year old kid gives you a home made gift it's cute. Try giving you wife a home made gift and see if she thinks that cute. Now if your Picasso that might work.....average Joe, not so much.
I know it's the thought that counts, but somehow diamonds seem more thoughtful than a self printed coupon book of hugs.
Honey, if you see this, I got those earrings you admired in that magazine.
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