New Coinstar® Study Reveals Majority of Americans Surveyed Expect to Exceed Holiday Budget by $155
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New Coinstar® Study Reveals Majority of Americans Surveyed Expect to Exceed Holiday Budget by $155

December 13, 2016

Coinstar’s business peaks at holiday, when strapped shoppers turn coins and gift cards into ready cash. Each year, we partner with them to remind shoppers of these hidden treasures with attention-getting data about budget-busting spending and the opportunity to save with Coinstar. With carefully crafted questions, we pull out the tension between strapped wallets and the desire to buy a special gift for that special someone.

For the fourth year in a row, we tracked America’s holiday spending with a focus on over-spending and the sacrifices people make to buy meaningful gifts. For 2016, we not only uncovered fresh insights, but we also added year-over-year trends that showed Americans are overspending even more this year than last. In fact, we saw an 11% increase, with people overspending budgets by an average of $155, up from $140 in 2015! 

Please see the full press release from Coinstar below, and learn more about the state of holiday spending.


BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A new holiday survey, disclosed today by Coinstar, found that nearly 60 percent of American respondents expect to exceed their holiday budget by an average of $155 this year – with parents, Millennials and GenXers being the most likely. This marks an 11 percent increase from the 2015 Coinstar holiday survey, in which respondents estimated they would overspend by $140.

In order to buy gifts for everyone on their holiday list, 72 percent of gift-giving respondents said they have to make sacrifices, whether that includes spending less money on entertainment or eating out at restaurants less often. Even so, holiday spending may lead to post-holiday money issues. One in five Americans surveyed anticipate they will either not be able to put as much money away in savings, won’t be able to afford to treat themselves, or expect to have debt after the holidays – with parents being the most likely to find themselves saving less money or dealing with debt. Not surprisingly, 93 percent of respondents recognize they need more money to buy what they want this holiday season.

“With the winter holiday season comes the excitement of giving and exchanging gifts, but many of us discover it’s not easy to stick to a budget and end up overspending,” said lifestyle and trend expert, Justine Santaniello, founder and creative director of “Thankfully, most people have unnoticed money lying around the house, at work, even in the car – and that loose change can add up quick. Taking it to a Coinstar kiosk could help lessen the sacrifice most of us make in order to buy gifts for everyone on our list, and reduce potential debt due to over-spending.”

Coinstar® and Coinstar™ Exchange kiosks make it easy for consumers to stay on budget, especially around the holidays, by turning the coins and gift cards they already have around the house into cash to buy what they really want.


  • The green Coinstar kiosks allow consumers to turn coins into cash to help buy gifts, decorations, or even a treat for themselves to relax from holiday stress. Coins can also be turned in for no fee eGift Cards to leading retailers like, Starbucks, Toys R Us/Babies R Us, Home Depot and more, or donated directly to a charity.
  • 90 percent of Americans surveyed have spare change lying around in couch cushions, purses, cup holders, and junk drawers. While the majority of respondents estimate they have $41 in spare change on-hand heading into this year’s holiday season, Coinstar’s own nationwide kiosk data indicates that on average, people cash in $68 when they convert their coins to no fee eGift Cards – $27 more than respondents believed they had.
  • With approximately 17,000 locations in the U.S., 91 percent of the population lives within five miles of a Coinstar kiosk, making it easy and convenient to cash in coins.

Coinstar Exchange:

  • The bright yellow Coinstar Exchange kiosks offer instant cash for unwanted gift cards most consumers have lying around.
  • According to Coinstar’s holiday survey data, nearly two in five respondents have unused gift cards left over from last year’s winter holidays – leaving extra cash sitting in their wallets and drawers.
  • While the majority of Americans surveyed would rather receive a gift card than a physical gift, nearly 2 in 5 of those who received gift cards for past winter holidays have not used them all. Most admit they face difficulties when trying to use gift cards, such as the store being too far away (50 percent) or it was for a store they had never shopped at before (41 percent).
  • Coinstar Exchange kiosks accept gift cards from more than 150 retailers, and are conveniently located in grocery stores in major U.S. cities.

For more information about Coinstar, or to find the nearest Coinstar and Coinstar Exchange kiosks, visit: For additional survey findings or to request high resolution images of Coinstar and Coinstar Exchange kiosks, please contact Renee Burchat JLM Partners for Coinstar: [email protected].

About Coinstar:
More than 20 years ago, Coinstar simplified the coin-counting process for people, and we continue making it easy for our customers to transform what they have into what they want with Coinstar® and Coinstar™ Exchange kiosks. We own and operate the only multi-national, fully automated network of more than 20,000 self-service coin-counting kiosks. Our Coinstar kiosks process more than $3 billion in coins annually as consumers in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland and the United Kingdom convert coins to cash or no fee eGift Cards, or donate coins to charity right from the kiosk with our Coins that Count™ program. With Coinstar Exchange, consumers can instantly exchange gift cards for cash in major U.S. cities at grocery retailers where people already shop. For more information on Coinstar or Coinstar Exchange, visit

1 The 2016 Coinstar Holiday Survey was conducted by Kelton Global between September 26th and October 3rd, 2016 among 1,011 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population 18 and over.

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