Arizona residents plan to open their wallet wider than much of the rest of the country by spending an average of $1,248 over the holidays; that’s more than 10 percent higher than the national average of $1,129, both figures according to the BMO Harris Bank Holiday Spending Report. Slightly more than one-third (36 percent) report they will regret how much they spend.

The commissioned report is the final in a series of surveys by BMO that examined the holiday shopping behaviors of consumers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Most Arizonans (81 percent) said they generally stick to their holiday budget, and one-in-ten (11 percent) set aside spending money specifically for the holidays. However, the survey also revealed:
·         More than two-thirds (67 percent) said they make impulse purchases, above the U.S. average of 64 percent
·         More than one-third (36 percent) say that in January they often regret how much they’ve spent
·         Half (52 percent) stress about spending the ‘right’ amount on a gift, regardless of how great the gift might be

Sixty percent say they will spend about the same amount on gifts that they did last year.
The survey also showed that 16 percent of those living in the Grand Canyon State say they will go into debt because of holiday spending, five percent higher than the national average.

“Holidays are a joyful yet sometimes stressful time of the year. Before the season arrives, set a realistic plan of how much you want, and can afford, to spend,” said Steve Zandpour, Arizona Retail Regional President, BMO Harris Bank. “If you can stick to your budget and avoid going into debt you will be in a better financial position as you begin the New Year.”