Moms Plan Spending Cuts

McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Applebee’s and More on the Block

89% of moms of kids 5-7 years old plan to spend the same or more on their child next year. Most of these moms also contemplate where, when, and if she should cut back on her spending. While ‘planning on spending the same or more’ and ‘looking to cut’ are contradictory goals, considering them is inherent in managing ANY budget – but it’s especially true as Moms plan spending cuts to McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Applebee’s – the national chain restaurants where she most frequently ‘eats out’ with the family.

  • To understand her thinking on this, we asked Mom, “If you plan to cut back on spending for your child, in what area do you plan to cut back in the most?” As followers of family budgets would expect, the first impulse of respondents is to name categories of discretionary spending – for example, ‘eating out’ or ‘vacations’.

    This was consistently true over the years of the research we’ve done in our Moms of 5-7 year olds Trend Tracker, so much so that last year we began using her history of open-ended responses to create budget category ‘buckets’ that would help you better understand her economic impulses.

  • This is the first time that ‘TOYS’ were not the category moms said they plan to cut the most.

Another important consideration is that, like moms’ perceptions of planned spending, planned cuts are just that – plans. Sometimes plans are concrete and are being acted upon, as in “I already am…” Others plans are vague or not fully formed, as in “I’m thinking about…” Other times plans are fleeting reflections of remorse, as in “I should…”

moms' plan to cutQualitative research would reveal moms ‘plans’ with greater certainty. For now, look at to the chart on the right for her top-of-mind response as to where she ‘plans’ to cut spending.

This is the first time that toys WERE NOT the category moms said they plan to cut the most. That distinction went to ‘eating out’. That means that national chain restaurants moms say their family eats at most frequently are likely at the top of moms’ list for spending cuts.

Top 10 National Chain
Restaurants Mom & Family Frequent T=tied

      1. McDonald’s – 16%
      2. Chick-fil-A – 6%
      3. Applebee’s – 5%
      4. Chili’s – 5%
      5. Red Robin – 4%
      6. Subway – 4%
      7. Taco Bell – 4%
      8. Cici’s Pizza – 3%
      9. 99 Restaurant – 3%T
      10. Olive Garden – 3%T

Moms of boys (44%) plan on cutting spending in the categories kids have the most direct influence on (toys, electronics, video games) slightly more than the moms of girls (40%).

Understand moms’ thinking regarding her family’s discretionary spending, and you’ll do a better job of fulfilling her wishes and allaying her fears with your marketing strategies.

Terence Burke

Terence Burke

SVP of Research, Editor-in-Chief KidSay's Trend Tracker at KidSay
Terence Burke is one of America’s leading kid experts. He is co-creator of KidSay’s Trend Tracker, a noted research report that many of the world’s most successful companies rely upon to understand kids and their rapidly-changing world. As the Trend Tracker’s editor-in-chief and principle writer since its inception, Terence has disseminated his kid-market expertise since 1999. The knowledge and insight Terence has acquired in his role as Trend Tracker editor and KidSay’s Senior VP of Research has led to multiple invitations to speak at Nickelodeon, Disney, McDonald’s, Reebok, Build-A-Bear, Activision, Kraft and Hasbro, among others. In addition to his research experience Terence has a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Education. He spent over two decades teaching emotionally handicapped students and, most recently, teaching inner-city youth at DreamYard High School in the Bronx, NY. Terence’s proudest achievements are being a husband to Katherine and a father to Alden, Selby, and Tristan.
Terence Burke
About the Author

Terence Burke

Terence Burke is one of America’s leading kid experts. He is co-creator of KidSay’s Trend Tracker, a noted research report that many of the world’s most successful companies rely upon to understand kids and their rapidly-changing world. As the Trend Tracker’s editor-in-chief and principle writer since its inception, Terence has disseminated his kid-market expertise since 1999. The knowledge and insight Terence has acquired in his role as Trend Tracker editor and KidSay’s Senior VP of Research has led to multiple invitations to speak at Nickelodeon, Disney, McDonald’s, Reebok, Build-A-Bear, Activision, Kraft and Hasbro, among others. In addition to his research experience Terence has a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Education. He spent over two decades teaching emotionally handicapped students and, most recently, teaching inner-city youth at DreamYard High School in the Bronx, NY. Terence’s proudest achievements are being a husband to Katherine and a father to Alden, Selby, and Tristan.