Enquirer Herald

Holiday shopping closes out

For football players, hitting the "red zone" means the possibility of a touchdown or field goal. For holiday shoppers, the "red zone" is the panic buying time.

According to VISA, 77 percent of consumers still need to buy holiday gifts this week. These last-minute shoppers will spend an average of $278 in the final days leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah.

Procrastination is rampant this year, VISA said, with 13 percent of consumers planning to buy all of their gifts in this final week and 51 percent buying a quarter.

"When shoppers panic, they throw money at the problem and often overspend to get a gift - any gift - in time for the holidays," said Jason Alderman, VISA's senior director of global financial education.

VISA said people should spend no more than 1.5 percent of annual income on holiday expenses.

For a family earning $50,000 a year, that means spending no more than $750 on the holidays.