Most Parents Say They Overspend on Holiday Gifts for Their Kids

November 13, 2015, 4:24 PM UTC
A parent buys Christmas gifts for her three children at a Toys R Us store in New York's Times Square.
New York, UNITED STATES: Mia Chaney (R) buys Christmas gifts for her three children at a Toys R Us store in New York's Times Square, 25 November 2005, one day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The "black" in the term comes from the standard accounting practice of using red ink to denote losses, and black ink to denote profits. AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Stan Honda — AFP/Getty Images

With Black Friday around the corner, a new report says most parents admit to overspending on gifts for their kids.

In its “Parents, Kids & Money Survey” investment firm T. Rowe Price talked to 1,000 parents with kids between 8 and 14 years old last January, and 62% of themagreed with the statement: “I spent more for my kids over the holidays than I should have.”

Alarmingly, 37% of parents said they were also willing to use savings—either from their regular savings account, retirement savings, or their emergency funds—to cover holiday spending.

“Our long-term goals, such as retirement savings and having an emergency fund, should always take priority over anything that is presented with a bow and purchased during a Black Friday sale. Kids will always have long wish lists, and it’s good for them to know that there isn’t enough money in the family budget to cover everything,” said Stuart Ritter, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price, in a statement.

The survey also found that 30% of parents who do not regularly save for retirement do save regularly for holiday spending, while 28% of holiday gift-saving parents don’t save for their kid’s college education. The survey also found that 50% of the parents who overspent on the holidays end up arguing about money with their spouse.

This reports comes after the National Retail Federation said it was expecting sales in November and December—which includes key shopping periods like Black Friday and pre-Christmas shopping— to rise 3.7% from previous months to $630.5 billion. Holiday sales in 2015 are expected to represent around 19% of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion.

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