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Average Family Looks To Spend $1,000 This Holiday, Survey Says

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's not even Halloween, but some folks are already thinking about holiday spending.

The decorations are up at many stores, and Discover Card just released its annual holiday spending survey.

It found the average family will spend just over $1,000. That's up 20 percent from last year, and that total includes things other than gifts, like eating out and clothes.

But Minnesota's numbers are a little different from the rest of the country.


Laura Jansen and her kids may have been shopping at Creative Kidstuff on Wednesday, but they don't plan to spend anywhere near the national average.

"That is a lot of money. That's a lot more than we'll be spending," said Jansen, of Baldwin, Wis.

But for her grandparents, it's another story.

"Grandma and grandpa go crazy when it's their grandkids," she said. "Actually it's their great grandkids, so they spend that much money in no time, but, personally, that's just an insane amount of money."

But, after all, consumes like grandma and grandpa help make up the national average.

Or, there's people like Becky Thron. She says she'll spend pretty close to the average.

"Maybe even a little more," she said. "We tend to go overboard."

Dave Brennan, a marketing professor at the University of St. Thomas, just sent out his own regional survey, and he's not surprised by the national results.

However, he doesn't expect our regional budgets to be up anywhere near 20 percent. That's because our economy already started to rebound last year.

"We have lower unemployment, we have good paying jobs, and things are coming back a lot faster here than they have in other places," he said.

One of the most interesting numbers in the national survey is that people plan to spend more money on holiday entertaining than clothing.

Fifty percent of people expect to spend between $100 and $500 at restaurants this holiday.

"Maybe that's...people are wanting to spend time together a little more, and that's kinda nice," said Geeta McGibbon of Prior Lake.

And that's good news for restaurants like Crave, which is already seeing more holiday reservations at its eight locations.

"It's a good problem to have," said Ryan Gagnon, Crave's general manager. "I would not mind being extra busy."

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