Apparently, finding an increasingly critical holiday shopper only involves looking in the mirror.
According to the NRF's holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, nearly six in 10 shoppers (59.0 percent) plan to spend an average of $139.92 on "self-gifting" this holiday season — the most on non-gift items in the survey's 10-year history.
The self-gifting rate decreased with the Great Recession but picked up in each of the last three years. Overall, 20 percent of the average shopper's holiday outlay is projected to be spent on themselves in 2012, up from 14 percent in 2004.
Among groups, the biggest spenders are adults, 25-34, averaging $175.65. But the biggest group is young adults, ages 18-24, with more than seven in 10 (71.5 percent) looking to spend an average of $159.62.
NRF noted that the young are most likely to endure the long lines for midnight and early-bird Black Friday promotions.
"It looks like young adults have the 'one for you two for me' mentality about the holiday season this year, which is surprising given that this is also the age group that typically doesn't have the income or ability to splurge," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow, in a statement.
In an article penned for Time Magazine, Kit Yarrow, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Golden Gate University, posited five reasons for the rise in holiday self-gifting:
Which of the following do you think is the biggest reason for the recent rise in holiday self-gifting?