According to a recent study published in the UK’s Daily Mail, our lady friends across the pond think their guys should spend half a week’s wages on their Christmas present. Business Insider did a little math and determined that the average British man makes about $49,415 annually, which works out to a $475 gift. However, the ladies would really love to have designer duds under the tree, like a pair of Louboutins, which far exceeds the $475 baseline that the ladies have set.
The guys are a little more frugal. They only expect gifts that cost one-third of a woman’s weekly salary, which adds up to about $250.
ShopperTrak says holiday spending is expected to increase 2.5 percent over last year, a decrease from the projected 3.3 percent. For many, the fiscal cliff talks, the tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary and in Oregon, and Hurricane Sandy put a damper on holiday shopping plans. And, the Denver Post reports, Bankrate.com says one-third of Americans have cut their spending in the last month because of the stalled fiscal cliff talks.
But putting aside all of the current events reasons for not spending a ton of money on holiday gifts, there are the personal finance reasons. The designer clothing that the polled ladies are looking for are splurge items. We asked the Double Saving Divas about the items we can splurge on at this special time of year during yesterday’s Facebook chat. “[I]f you can’t afford it you should never splurge on it. It’s not worth the headache or heartaches. If you can’t afford a vacation and you put it on credit…..once you return after having a good time you really can’t enjoy it because you will have the bills hanging over your head. Stay focused and smart!” was their response.
Chances are, the majority of the ladies polled don’t really have anyplace special to wear a pair of Louboutins (although one could argue that you can wear your hot heels to the supermarket if you love them enough). It’s been a tough year, and we all really want to indulge, but we should be choosy. Asking your significant other to spend half their paycheck on your gift is a little much. We know ladies, we spend a lot of money throughout the year to make the house cozy and stylish, to prepare good meals, to look good and smell nice. And your boyfriend or hubby should reward that; a bouquet of flowers, a new tie, or an evening out should be a part of life throughout the year.
Since it’s the holidays and we’re feeling generous, we’ll say that you should think of something decadent that you really want, drop not-so-subtle hints to your man that it’s on your wish list, and put a little money aside to help make it happen. Maybe even charge it with a plan for paying it back quickly. But make sure it’s the thing that you want most. This should be a special something that you don’t regret for one moment having spent a chunk of cash. Personally, we love to travel, and the tourist experience is worth every penny. Maybe you love to cook and a fancy kitchen gadget is the thing that, each time you use it, will be a special gift that keeps on giving.
But the most important thing is to not go crazy. We all deserve something nice every once in a while. But if it puts you in the red, it’s not nice.