Will You Be Spending More Or Less This Holiday Season?

After Halloween comes and goes on Sunday, Holiday shopping season will be upon us (whether you want it to be or not). So it’s good timing that our analytical siblings at Consumer Reports has released the results of its Holiday shopping survey for 2010. Once again, a large portion of Americans say they intend on spending less this season than they did last year, but that number continues to decrease while the percentage of people increasing their Holiday budgets is on the rise.

According to the survey, 30% of Americans are still planning to spend less in 2010 than they did last year. On the bright side, that result is down from 33% from the 2009 survey and a huge drop from the 42% number CR tabulated in 2008.

The growth in the number of people expecting to spend more this year isn’t quite as dramatic. In 2008, only 13% of respondents said they were ramping up their Holiday budgets. That percentage has increased by 3% in both 2009 (16%) and 2010 (19%).

Of additional interest is the fact that men and women have very different ideas for how much they will be spending this Holiday season. Among men, 22% said they will be spending more, compared to only 15% for women. Conversely, 35% of women said they would be spending less this year, while a mere 24% of men are going to spend less.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans whose Holiday spending plans remain unchanged remains… well, unchanged at 49%, a sentiment shared evenly by both genders.

Of course, expectations are just that — expectations. The survey also took a look back at 2009 to compare what people had planned to spend versus what they ultimately spent.

In Dec. 2009, the average respondent had intended to spend $699. Shock of shocks, that was wishful thinking, as the actual amount spent averaged out to $811, 16% more than was planned.

While Consumer Reports’ survey was all very scientifically executed and planned, we wanted to see what results we’d get from this completely unscientific poll asking the same question:

Consumers (slightly) loosen their belts this holiday season [Consumer Reports]