Holiday shoppers spent much more than expected on gifts

credit card swipe
credit card swipe

Let's flash back to the beginning of December. The Consumer Reports National Research Center polled more than 1,000 randomly-selected consumers to find out how much they planned to spend on gifts this holiday season. The answer: $699 on average, about $65 less than they planned to spend in the prior two years.

Now, however we have actual totals and they are -- you guessed it -- substantially higher. The average shopper spent $811 – or 16% more than they'd planned – on gifts alone. The half of the population surveyed that paid with credit cards reported spending another $85 more, on average, raising their total to $896. And nearly one-fifth couldn't resist bringing home a little (or not so little) something for themselves.