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• Nov 27, 2017

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Nov. 27, 2017 - This holiday season, the average shopper expects to shell out $500, and nearly eight out of 10 consumers (76 percent) admit to overspending on holiday purchases by an average of $263 in the past – according to TD Bank's Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey.

The survey found that 62 percent of consumers prefer getting gift cards as a holiday present, with 50 percent of Americans purchasing them so friends and family can “get what they want,” as well as being easy and convenient to give (24 percent).

With holiday overspending reaching new heights, more than half of TD's survey respondents (52 percent) create a budget – and eight-in-ten say they actually stick to it, up from 70 percent in 2016. With such an uptick, what motivates consumers to create a budget? Sixty-three percent say its part habit, and 39 percent say they spend too much over the holidays.

“Holiday shopping should not create any added stress to such an enjoyable time of year,” said Jason Thacker, Head of U.S. Consumer Deposits and Payments at TD Bank. “These findings only further emphasize that by establishing a budget and exploring gift alternatives, people can still make meaningful memories and get the most out of the season.”

Buying (and re-gifting) the perfect present

How many people re-gift holiday presents? More than half (56 percent) of respondents admitted to previously re-gifting a present, noting that the top reasons for re-gifting include thinking that someone else would like it more (65 percent) as well as disliking the gift (40 percent).

Nearly one-in-three (32 percent) women say gifts for their significant other are the most stressful to buy; men concur (38 percent). Both men and women agree that gifts for children tend to be the easiest (34 percent and 45 percent, respectively).

'Tis the season to be spending

New Yorkers (80 percent) and South Floridians (78 percent) have the highest level of holiday overspend in the country, compared to the national average (76 percent). Further, New Yorkers overspend by roughly 21 percent ($318) more than the average American ($263).

Top reasons for excessive spending include: spending more on gifts than expected (71 percent) and buying gifts that were not on the original list (57 percent).

But while the majority of holiday shoppers have overspent in the past, nearly six-in-ten (59 percent) expect to pay back their spending before February 2018.

Millennials blow budgets on holiday parties and office gift exchanges

Experience-driven millennials far overspend their budget (72 percent) on holiday-related events compared to members of Generation X (24 percent) and baby boomers (18 percent).

Millennials tend to overspend the most on:

  • Gifts for friends and family (49 percent)
  • Purchases for themselves (33 percent)
  • Candy/desserts (33 percent)
  • Home decorations (31 percent)
  • Wine/Beer/Spirits (30 percent)

But amidst this holiday overindulgence, this younger generation does have some frugal habits. Most millennials (65 percent) create a holiday budget, in comparison to 56 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of baby boomers. Additionally, millennials (67 percent) are far more likely to re-gift a present compared to the average American consumer (56 percent).

"Time and time again, surveys have shown that in many ways, millennials are more financially responsible than members of older generations. To many young adults, re-gifting is the most practical thing to do and if it saves you money in the process, it's not a bad idea," said Amanda Dixon, financial writer and expert, who analyzed the survey.

Additional highlights are available on the TD Bank Digital News Center.

Survey Methodology
Research company MARU/Matchbox conducted the survey among a nationally representative sample of Americans shopping for the Holiday Season. The online fieldwork occurred between Nov. 2-8, 2017. A total 1,295 completes were gathered in the U.S. Data has been weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the population. Margin of Error on the total sample is +/-3 percent.

About MARU/Matchbox
MARU/Matchbox, formerly the Research & Consulting division of Vision Critical, is a professional services firm dedicated to improving its clients' business outcomes. It delivers its services through teams of sector-specific research consultants that have technology in their DNA, specializing in the use of Insight Community and Voice of Market technology. MARU/ Matchbox's research drives decision-making across all aspects of customer experience, including innovation, product, branding, commercialization and communications.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit

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Media Contact

Lisa Sawicki

TD Bank


Download a PDF of the press release.

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