The findings of a survey Sears Holdings Co. commissioned among 1,000 U.S. adults this month suggest that 56% of Americans plan to save money for this year's winter holidays and that 32% already have begun setting aside funds for holiday shopping. Kelton Research conducted the online survey between Aug. 3 and Aug. 7. Some 38% of respondents plan to begin saving money this month or next month. Some 72% plan to vary their shopping routine this holiday season from past years, including spending less on gifts (57%), shopping at more-affordable stores (53%) or establishing a holiday shopping budget in advance (49%). Separately, Ing Direct released survey results this week suggesting that 54% of U.S. adults plan to spend at least $300 on holiday gifts, a 10% decrease from the maximum $330 Americans last year said in a similar survey was the typical amount they spend annually on holiday gifts. Harris Interactive conducted this year's online survey among 2,047 U.S. adults June 30 to July 2. Harris conducted a similar online study among 2,491 U.S. adults Nov. 12 to 14, 2008. Some 23% of consumers said they plan to spend $100 to $299 this year on holiday gifts, compared with 21% who last year said that is the typical amount they spend on holiday gifts, while 11% said they will spend between $1 and $100, unchanged from last year. Some 11% of consumers said they plan to spend nothing on gifts this year, compared with 7% who last year said they typically spend nothing. Expectations for big holiday spenders are relatively better, with some 25% planning to spend between $500 and $999 this year compared with 23% who last year said that amount was typical. Some 12% of consumers said they will spend at least $1,000 this year, compared with 10% who last year said their holiday spending typically tops $1,000. Americans ages 55 or older and those who live in the Northeast plan to curtail their holiday spending the most compared with last year, the survey found.

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