Holiday Shoppers Plan a Merry Little Spending Spree . / Credit: Holiday Gifts Image via Shutterstock

Consumers plan on keeping Santa busy this holiday season. New research paints a brighter picture on consumer sentiment this year, as shoppers are looking to budget less and spend more.

Overall, 53 percent of respondents say they plan to buy more gifts this year compared to last year, making it the third year that shoppers are looking to spend more on holiday gifts. Just 24 percent of shoppers say they will follow a budget this year, down from 40 percent in 2010 and 31 percent in 2011. 

"In addition to the decrease in the number of shoppers cutting spending and budgeting, nearly half plan to use their credit cards to make holiday purchases,” said JJ Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA, which  conducted the research. "With only one-third planning on paying their holiday credit card balances in full immediately, it appears shoppers will be less cautious with their holiday spending. However, using a goals-based planning calculator that can be accessed no matter where they are can help shoppers set realistic boundaries and stay on track throughout the holiday season."

A big part of that spending will come from mobile shoppers.  The researchers found that  56 percent of respondents plan to use mobile devices and smartphones to compare products when shopping. Shoppers also use their phones to download coupons and search for availability of products.  In other research, it was found that consumers spent more than $20.7 billion while using their smartphones. Additionally, shoppers spent more than $10 more per purchase when shopping on tablets.

"This year’s survey data aligns with recent reports that holiday sales growth is expected to remain above the 10-year growth rate," Montanaro said. "Even with the current mixed economic picture, shoppers seem to have more optimism this holiday season, which may be encouraging them to open their wallets."

The research was based on the responses of 1,011 adults.

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