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Survey: Women largest group among those spending less this holiday season


PITTSBURGH — If it isn't bad enough that 28% of consumers plan to spend less this holiday season according to a new CivicScience poll of 2,500 consumers, the majority of those reporting that their families will be spending less are women. They are likely to be middle aged or older women, who are more likely to have children in college. Reduced spenders are also more likely to have a negative outlook on their personal financial situation and believe it’s a bad time to make a major purchase.


Reduced spenders are more than twice as likely to consider themselves frugal. So while they are generally more conservative in their spend, something about this year is making them tighten up even more. Perhaps it’s due to these additional attributes:


  • They are 54% more likely to believe it is a bad time to make major purchases given the current state of the economy;

  • They are also 50% more likely to say their personal financial situation will get worse over the next 6 months;

  • They are 42% more likely to say they manage their money poorly;

  • Those intending to spend less are 21% more likely to plan on doing 25%-75% of their holiday shopping online;

  • They are 33% more likely to always seek out online reviews before making purchases; and

  • They are slightly more likely (13%) to be very likely to tell friends/family about a product they are happy with.

According to the survey, 13% of consumers plan to spend more this year and as many as 45% of adult consumers plan to spend the same amount. A total of 15% don’t plan on doing any holiday shopping this year. 


The consumer who will be spending more this holiday season than last is more likely to be a millennial with a lower than average income. Due to their age, there is a higher likelihood they recently began receiving a salary or their household income is increasing, which could be a factor in their higher spending intent.

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