The season has arrived—whether you dread it or love it, there are always some great memories to be made when gathering with friends and family for fall and winter holidays. However you celebrate, how do we get control of our finances during the holidays? What’s your strategy? Answer the following questions to see if you’re ready to celebrate the season, financially or otherwise:
1. Americans spend an average of $90 per person on Halloween festivities. This equates to $____ per year on costumes, candy, and decorations.
a. $10 million
b. $50 million
c. $9 billion
d. $1 trillion
2. According to Yahoo, how much will Americans spend on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10?
3. Santa Claus is observed in many cultures and has many names. Which one is correct?
a. France – Babbo Natale
b. Mexico – El Nino Jesus
c. Finland – Joulupukki
d. Germany – Sinter Klaas
4. For the Hallmark movie experts—how many holly jolly holiday movies will they make this year for viewers to get weepy over?
5. There are a few great days throughout the year to snag the best bargains on candy. This one tops them all.
a. Easter Monday (The bunny has hopped on …let the bargains begin!)
b. Valentine’s Day (You’re a little late to be shopping last minute.)
c. December 24 (Gotta get that sale candy for the stockings.)
d. Day after Halloween (aka Nov. 1—The little goblins had their fun, now it’s time to make your coworkers happy.)
6. Many consumers go into debt to make their holidays extra special. Last holiday season, consumers racked up $_____, on average, in new debt.
7. Nearly ___ of Americans say they fail to budget properly for the holidays.
d. 100% (Budget? What, me worry?)
8. About how much do Americans collectively spend each year during the holiday season?
a. $500 million
b. $600 billion
c. $1 trillion
d. As much as they can
9. What’s the best way to save for the holidays?
a. Start early—what about starting in January for the upcoming year?
b. With payroll deduction—On payday, have a regular amount directly deposited to a special savings account, like the You Name It Club savings account at Tower. See your employer to set up payroll deductions.
c. Evaluate all of your recurring monthly expenses and cut back if possible. Maybe you don’t need the top cable or cellphone plan after all.
d. All of the above.
10. Believe it or not, many people don’t think shopping is fun. A fifth of Baby Boomers would rather go to the dentist. And 19% of Millennials would rather text with their boss on a weekend than go holiday shopping. What percent of consumers find holiday shopping fun?
11. Hanukkah usually starts on the 25th of Kislev, a date that varies in the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah is also commonly known as the festival of what?
12. Don’t forget Fido and Kitty—pet owners spend an average of $ ___ on their furry friends during the holidays.
1. c. Consumers will spend a whopping $9 billion dollars on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations.
2. c. $142 is the average amount to feast for the day on traditional Turkey Day food.
3. c. Finland—Joulupukki. In Italy, Santa Claus is Babbo Natale; El Nino Jesus is what little children call him in Spain; and Sinter Klaas is Dutch.
4. d. 40 new films will be out this holiday season…which is a lot of Hallmark to keep up with during holiday festivities. Don’t worry—they will likely air several times throughout the season. And if that doesn’t do the trick, Hallmark has decided to air a holiday movie every Friday throughout the year. Get your hankies ready!
5. d. November 1 is the best day to get half price candy at the supermarkets and big box stores. Stock up and enjoy—or share with your coworkers.
6. c. The average debt people incur during the holidays is $1,094. (Why not get rewards when you spend this holiday season? Tower’s World Mastercard offers a great rate PLUS rewards with a cash-back option.)
7. b. 75% of people freely admit that they don’t budget enough—or at all—for the holidays. That doesn’t have to be you! Payroll Deduction + You Name It Club = Money for the holidays.
8. a. $500 million was spent last year, with that number climbing every year as more folks get in the Halloween spirit.
9. d. Any of these tips will put you in a better position for the holiday season. The trick is to start early and stick to it.
10. d. A full 61% of Americans still like holiday shopping—that includes trekking to the local malls or outlet centers. The Grinches, however, would rather work more or have a root canal. Yikes!
11. b. Hanukkah is known as the “Festival of Lights.”
12. c. Animal lovers will lavish their pets with an average $62 in gifts to celebrate the season.
Resources: Money.com, MentalFloss.com, Forbes, Investopedia, Yahoo Finance