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How Much Do People Really Spend on Wedding Gifts?

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With Americans spending an average of $167 per couple, people marrying this year can expect a pretty decent haul of wedding gifts. (And if they’re lucky, their guests will spend that money on something they actually want.)

Online wedding registry site Zankyou looked at 300,000 donations given through its registries and determined average gift spending in 12 countries. The site is a little different than something you’d set up at a department store: Couples identify things they’d like — whether those are physical items, a honeymoon fund or savings for a home together — and guests give the couple money to spend on those items. As a result, this formula excludes wedding guests who gift things like handmade artwork, an assortment of kitchen trinkets or any bargain present. (There’s nothing wrong with such gestures, considering the point of a wedding isn’t to bill others for your expensive tastes.)

Based on Zankyou’s analysis, Americans are neither big spenders nor cheapskates, though their spending shrunk 2% from last year. Here are the average donations from guests in the 12 countries included in Zankyou’s report, from smallest to largest:

12. The Netherlands
Average gift: $97
Change in spending from last year: -3%

11. Brazil
Average gift: $104
Change in spending from last year: +3%

10. Mexico
Average gift: $122
Change in spending from last year: 0%

9. Belgium
Average gift: $150
Change in spending from last year: +3%

8. United Kingdom
Average gift: $159
Change in spending from last year: -2%

7. United States
Average gift: $167
Change in spending from last year: -2%

5. (tie) France & Germany
Average gift: $195
Change in spending from last year: +4%

4. Portugal
Average gift: $236
Change in spending from last year: +5%

3. Austria
Average gift: $252
Change in spending from last year: +3%

2. Italy
Average gift: $317
Change in spending from last year: 0%

1. Spain
Average gift: $365
Change in spending from last year: -1%

For many people, any of those figures can seem steep, but it’s important to remember that how much you spend on wedding gifts is dependent on your budget, not the expectations of others. If you’re wondering how much you should spend on a newlywed couple, here are some things to factor into your decisions.

It’s typically a poor choice to go into debt for the sake of celebrating a marriage, whether it be yours or someone else’s, because debt can have a long-term negative affect on your credit standing and overall financial situation. Credit card debt, often associated with unsustainable shopping habits, can be particularly difficult to conquer. If you want to know how your credit card spending affects your credit scores (and by extension, your access to financial services), you can get two scores for free through Credit.com.

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