Survey Shows Half of Teens Plan to Spend $100 or More on Presents This Holiday Season

Junior Achievement USA® Poll Also Shows Clothing, Gift Cards, and Video Games are Most Popular Gift Items

Thanksgiving is upon us and you know what that means, the onset of holiday shopping! The expectation of giving gifts can be financially exhausting. According to a survey of 500 U.S. teens conducted by Junior Achievement USA and ORC International, more than half of teens (51%) planning to shop this holiday season expect to pay more than $100 on gifts, with one-in-seven (15%) saying they plan to spend $250 or more. The survey of 13 to 17-year-olds from the general public was conducted by ORC the week of October 17th.

“The holidays serve as one of the best opportunities to teach young people about the responsible management of money,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “It’s important that teens learn the financial impact of both and how to budget in order to make informed decisions about a reasonable amount for them to spend on gifts for the Holidays.” 

As “in” products are ever changing, the teens were asked what kind of gifts they were expecting to spend money on. Among the most popular items were clothing (47%), gift cards (46%), video games (46%), and accessories (shoes, hats, etc.) (42%). Trailing not far behind were small electronics and accessories (36%), toys (33%), jewelry (31%), and music (26%). Coming in at the bottom of the list were sporting goods and apparel (17%), home décor (13%), and tying for least popular, tools and holiday baskets (7%).

Junior Achievement is the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to categorize needs and wants, own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement's programs—in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy—ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.

In Greater Washington, Junior Achievement empowers more than 65,000 students annually to transform “I can’t” into “I can” through its experiential programs in the classroom, at JA Finance Park facilities in Fairfax and Prince George’s counties, and through JA Job Shadow™ programs at the region’s leading companies and organizations. To learn more about how to get involved, visit

This report presents the findings of an Opinion Research Corporation’s Youth CARAVAN survey conducted among a sample of 500 13-17 year olds. Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error are calculated.