With the holidays quickly approaching, Chase Blueprint asked an O, The Oprah Magazine reader panel about their strategies for spending this season. The poll revealed that these festive consumers are bringing holiday cheer to friends and family while keeping a close eye on their personal budgets. The study, released by Chase, and O, The Oprah Magazine’s promotion department, indicates that while saving money on holiday shopping is prevalent this year, more than half plan to spend the same or more in the coming months. Gifts and expenses related to holiday parties were cited by survey respondents as the biggest factors in their budgets this time of year. On average, respondents plan to spend $569 on gifts and $307 on parties this holiday season. Smart Holiday Shopping According to the study, two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) “look forward” to shopping for gifts during the holidays. In addition to the excitement surrounding the season, it also shows that people are being mindful with their spending and want to get the most out of every dollar. To stretch their holiday budget a little further, 61 percent plan to use coupons or look for last minute sales, while more than a quarter (28 percent) plan on purchasing most of their gifts during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Additionally, three in five respondents will create a holiday shopping budget (62 percent) and among those, nearly all are very likely to stick to that budget (95 percent). “During the holidays, a great amount of focus is placed on buying and giving gifts – which means people are spending money they may not regularly. It’s great to see that people aren’t losing sight of their budgets,” said Rachana Bhatt, director, Chase Card Services. “Developing and sticking to a plan during the holidays will help consumers save time, money and, most importantly, prepare them for a sound financial start in the New Year.”
The most popular gift purchases for giving include cash or gift cards (21 percent); clothing or jewelry (14 percent); and consumer electronics and computer-related accessories or video games (18 percent).“Having savings is an ideal way to prepare for extra holiday expenditures, but if it’s unfeasible to cover all the expenses at once, financing a portion of your holiday purchases may come into play. If you choose to finance any portion with a credit card, be proactive about setting up a plan to pay your balance back,” said Hannum. Chase Blueprint is a unique set of features available on select Chase credit cards that help cardholders manage their spending and borrowing. Blueprint is available free of charge to new and existing Chase cardholders. It’s simple to set up, easy to use and customizable. With Blueprint, cardholders can save money and pay down balances faster. Seasonal Celebrations When it comes to celebrating the season, nearly a quarter (26 percent) of respondents will host a holiday or seasonal party this year. On average, these hosts plan to set their party budget at more than $300, with two in five (41 percent) planning to spend between $100 and $249 and a third (32 percent) planning to spend $250 to $499 on the party. For those hosting an event, the average number of invitees is 20 people with over a quarter (27 percent) planning to invite five to 10 people and 45 percent planning to invite 11 to 20. “Everyone is thinking about giving this holiday season and our December ‘Favorite Things’ issue features ideas for every budget with O, The Oprah Magazine’s personal seal of approval. Along with Oprah Winfrey, our editors have found amazing gift ideas for everyone in your life, at a range of price points,” said Jill Seelig, VP/Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer. Home for the Holidays The holidays are a very popular time for traveling to spend time with loved ones. One-quarter (26 percent) of respondents indicate they plan to travel this season: two-thirds (61 percent) will hit the road in their car and 34 percent plan to travel by air.
Compared to last year, two in five (45 percent) will spend about the same on travel this year, while more than a third (39 percent) will be spending more. When asked which item respondents couldn’t travel without, mobile phones (37 percent), books (11 percent) and magazines (7 percent) topped the list.About the Study The Chase Blueprint Holiday Study, fielded by Fairfield Research on behalf of Chase Card Services, was an online survey of 2,287 total qualified O, The Oprah Magazine DevOtee panel members, selected at random. The data is directional and not representative of O, The Oprah Magazine’s entire readership. Chase conducted this panel survey with O, The Oprah Magazine’s promotion department to better understand how readers are approaching key personal finance decisions related to the 2012 holiday shopping season. About Chase Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,500 bank branches, 17,500 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.