Holidays Prompt Shift in Saving and Investing Strategies

Nearly four in 10 Americans (35%) intend to alter their saving and investing strategies to accommodate for the 2014 holiday season, according to a survey by Edward Jones.

The Edward Jones “Holiday Spending and Saving Study” reports households in the lowest earnings category (those bringing in less than $35,000 per year) are the most likely to adjust their normal saving and investing plans for the holidays, with 42% saying they will make changes. Households with income levels between $50,000 and $75,000 are the least likely to adjust their plans, with 26% intending to do so. Unexpectedly, the survey revealed the highest income earners are no more or less likely than the survey average to adjust their plans.

The survey results indicate investors ages 18 to 24 are nearly twice as likely to adjust their strategy when compared to those 65 and older. The 45 to 54 age group is the most likely to focus on paying off debts as the year ends. Additionally, respondents with household income levels greater than $100,000 are more likely than all groups to focus on making final contributions to savings and retirement plans during the holiday season.

There are differences in spending habits when comparing genders, with 40% of women likely to make accommodations for increased year-end spending due to the holidays, compared to 30% of men. The difference between responses from women and men was smaller when selecting for those who say they are most financially focused on holiday purchases during the end of the year, at 32% to 26%, respectively.

“To ensure people spend wisely during this time, we suggest they create a holiday shopping budget and stick to it,” says Scott Thoma, retirement strategist and principal at Edward Jones. “And to make up for the extra spending, we also suggest that people reconnect with their financial advisers or take a closer look at their own financial plans and make sure they’re well positioned to remain on track after the holidays.”