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Oxygen Studies Holiday Spending Habits of U.S. Consumers

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Oxygen Studies Holiday Spending Habits of U.S. Consumers

As the busiest shopping season of the year approaches, Oxygen Media today released a study conducted with Research Now that examines the holiday spending habits of U.S. consumers. Americans spend more during the holiday season than at any other time of the year, and despite the current economic situation, 80 percent of adults expect to spend the same amount or more on holiday gifts this year compared to last year. Many adults (47 percent) spend more than they can afford during the holiday season, with 36 percent saying they have gone into credit card debt in order to buy gifts. The release of this study coincides with Oxygen's thought-provoking docu-series "My Shopping Addiction," which airs on Mondays at 11pm ET/PT, providing an authentic look into the lives of young people in crisis due to a dangerous addiction to shopping.

"During the holiday season all of the stores have sales to try to pull us in and get us to spend more," said Dr. David Tolin, a licensed psychologist and addiction expert featured on Oxygen's "My Shopping Addiction." "For people with shopping addictions it can be a particularly dangerous time. This holiday season, instead of buying present after present, try doing something special for people you care about and letting them know how you feel."

Examining America's Holiday Spending Habits

Three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans spend more during the holiday season than at any other time of the year including vacations, birthdays, and Valentine's Day. Following are some of the holiday shopping habits of adults that were revealed:

· 81 percent feel obligated to give gifts to those who give to them.

· 54 percent spend at least $500 or more.

· 25 percent spend at least $1,000 or more.

· 19 percent are willing to spend twice the retail price to buy "hard to find" items.

· On average, Americans spend almost twice as much on gifts for a significant other ($323) compared to anyone else including parents ($152), children ($172), and close friends ($58).

Differences Between Men and Women

Oxygen's study reveals the different holiday shopping habits between women and men, including the following:

· Women spend more on holiday gifts for children ($181 vs. $162), close friends ($59 vs. $57), co-workers ($25 vs. $21), and service people ($20 vs. $17).

· Men spend more on holiday gifts for a significant other ($381 vs. $265) and parents ($161 vs. $144).

· Men prefer to buy things for themselves rather than other people (67 percent vs. 51 percent).

· Women are more likely to buy holiday gifts on sale (80 percent vs. 69 percent).

Spending Habits of Young Women (18-34)

When examining the spending habits of women ages 18-34, the poll revealed younger women plan less and give less practical gifts during the holiday season compared to older women ages 35-49:

· Young women are less likely to buy gifts that are on sale compared to older women (76 percent vs. 84 percent).

· 75 percent of young women tend to give gifts that aren't practical (vs. 66% among older women).

· 47 percent of young women leave their holiday shopping to the last minute (vs. 37% among older women).

Thinking Outside the Box

Most Americans think non-traditional holiday gifts are okay:

· 86 percent of Americans think it's okay to give non-traditional gifts during the holidays.

· Gift certificates top the list of "alternative gifts," especially for close friends (59 percent) and employees (54 percent).

· Something personally made by hand is the top alternative gift for parents (68 percent) and a significant other (66 percent).

· Something personally baked is seen as a great gift for co-workers (64 percent) and even close friends (52 percent).

· Cash (56 percent) and gift certificates (51 percent) are considered the best substitutes for store-bought presents for children.

· Almost all adults (95 percent) would not end a friendship over an inappropriate or cheap gift or no gift at all.

Top Five Tips to Avoid Debt During the Holidays

1. Take Time to Plan Ahead Feeling rushed at the end of the holiday season can make you rush, overspend, and make poor choices. Make a list of everyone ahead of time so you know what you are dealing with and whom you are buying for, and you aren't just randomly grabbing things when you are in the store.

2. Make a Budget, and Stick to That Budget Either bring a prepaid debit or gift card to the store or just bring cash you can spend. Without the credit cards, you can't start spending blindly.

3. Holiday Shop At Times When You Do Not Feel Depleted If you are at your best in the morning, then go in the morning. If you feel depleted, you are more likely to make impulse grabs and get sloppy.

4. Opt to Not Go Into Stores If being in the store leads you to make more of the impulse grab-and-go purchases, then don't do it. Use online shopping or some other means of shopping that helps manage those temptations.

5. Think of New Ways of Gift Giving With the recent Sandy hurricane devastation a lot of charities are looking for help. Instead of giving people gifts, ask them about their favorite charity and make a donation in their name to that charity. If you enjoy the process of shopping, then contact local organizations that are soliciting donations and find out what they need, set a budget, and then shop for those items.

Source: Provided by Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed psychologist and addiction expert featured on Oxygen's "My Shopping Addiction."

About Oxygen's Docu-Series "My Shopping Addiction"

Oxygen's authentic docu-series, "My Shopping Addiction," gives viewers an inside look at what happens when their shopping obsession causes their finances and lives to spiral out of control. Each hour-long episode follows two different shopping addicts that will be forced to face their problem head on with the help of a clinical psychologist who will guide them on the road to recovery.

In tonight's episode airing on Monday, November 12, at 11pm ET/PT, image-obsessed Seth is squandering his parent's retirement savings and creating a family crisis. Meanwhile, Ashley is unemployed and left with nowhere to live after getting kicked out of her house for excessive shopping.

"My Shopping Addiction" is produced by Screaming Flea Productions with Matt Chan, Jodi Flynn, and Jeff Kuntz serving as Executive Producers.

About Oxygen Media

Oxygen Media is a multiplatform entertainment brand that delivers relevant and engaging content to young women who like to "live out loud." Oxygen is rewriting the rulebook for women's media by changing how the world sees entertainment from a young woman's point of view. Through a vast array of unconventional and original content, including "The Glee Project," "Best Ink," "I'm Having Their Baby" and "Bad Girls Club," the growing cable network is the premier destination to find unique and groundbreaking unscripted programming. "The Glee Project" is a winner of a 2012 Gracie Award which honors programming created for women, by women and about women for "Outstanding Reality Show." A social media trendsetter, Oxygen is a leading force in engaging modern young women, wherever they are, with popular, award winning features online including www.OxygenLive.com, the real time social viewing party that is also available as an app for the iPhone and iPad. Oxygen is available in 80 million homes, and can be found online and on mobile devices at www.oxygen.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/OxygenPR. Oxygen Media is a service of NBCUniversal.

About Research Now

Research Now, the leading digital data collection provider, powers market research insights. We enable companies to listen to and interact with the world's consumers and business professionals through online panels, as well as mobile, digital and social media technologies. Our team operates in 24 offices globally and is recognized as the market research industry's leader in client satisfaction. We foster a socially responsible culture by empowering our employees to give back. To find out more or begin a conversation with us, visit www.researchnow.com.


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