Study: Gift-giving tops holiday budget priorities for young consumers

PROVIDENCE – ’Tis the season for spending money, and gift-giving tops the list of budget priorities for younger consumers, according to a new survey by Fidelity Investments Inc.

Sixty percent of Fidelity customers ages 18 to 35 said buying gifts for family and friends was a focus of their holiday season budgeting, according to the study published in November. Four in 10 also planned to set aside some money to treat themselves to holiday gifts, while 34% named “investing in self-improvement” as a seasonal financial focus. About 1 in 4 were dedicating money to holiday travel and/or to hosting and entertaining events, according to the survey.

The added costs that accompany the holidays proved a source of stress for many, with two-thirds of survey takers saying they were worried that holiday spending would sidetrack their larger financial goals.

Even without added holiday pressures, though, confidence among younger investors is low. One-third said they are completely confident in managing daily expenses, and even fewer feel assured about saving for the long term, according to the survey.

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Despite that lack of confidence, many are taking steps to learn more about how to save for their futures, turning to advice from YouTube or following a financial influencer on social media (the method chosen by 53%) or from someone they know (chosen by 43%). Just 14%, however, sought advice from a professional financial adviser.

The survey reflects results from 1,500 respondents ages 18 to 35.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at