Here's how much we'll spend on holiday gifts this year

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

The turkey has been gobbled up, the leftovers packed up … so now it’s time to shop! The winter holidays are here, and that means consumers are ready to spend. This year, holiday retail is expected to reach $682 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

According to a report from NerdWallet, the average consumer will spend $660 on holiday gifts. Baby boomers will spend more than the average, around $800 this season. Millennials plan to spend less—just $431.

Many shoppers will be skipping the malls to surf the web instead. Eighty-four percent say they will shop online for gifts this year (perhaps with a leftover turkey sandwich in hand?).

But don’t expect stores to be completely empty — Black Friday is still a huge shopping day for retailers. Seventy-nine percent say they will go shopping on Black Friday this year, according to a survey by Ebates.

If you’re searching for gift ideas for friends and loved ones, it might be best to stock up on gift cards. According to Ebates, 77% say they’d like a gift card, 46% want new clothes and accessories, and 22% are crossing their fingers for the iPhone X.

If all this shopping has you worried about your budget, you’re not alone! According to Nerdwallet, 56% of consumers took on credit card debt to pay for holiday purchases last year— and 1 in 4 people went over their budget.

Experts recommend putting aside a set amount of money for each person you plan to shop for, along with a list of what you’d like to purchase. Sticking to a plan will help you stay on track, so you can avoid starting the new year in debt.

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