Data Trends

Author

Carlos Barge

Americans are taking proactive steps to keep their holiday spending in check and making sure they’re financially ready for next year, according to an Experian national consumer survey.

A majority of those surveyed (84 percent) say they’re motivated to improve their finances this holiday season with 66 percent paying for gifts in cash this year and 62 percent planning to pay off debt. Almost half (46 percent) of those surveyed will try to improve their credit score before the start of the new decade.

Americans are taking proactive steps to keep their holiday spending in check and making sure they're financially ready for next year.

Holiday shopping puts a strain on consumers’ finances

Many Americans agree that holiday expenses affect their finances negatively (63 percent), and nearly two out of three feel stressed about their finances during the season. However, Americans plan to tackle their holiday spending challenge with some smart approaches; many of those surveyed (65 percent) will set aside money for gifts, while 52 percent will tighten their budgets to prepare for holiday shopping. Looking beyond gift-giving, 42 percent will start financial planning to prepare for next year and beyond. Consumers’ top New Year’s resolutions are saving more (49 percent) and improving their credit score (33 percent).

The pressure of the holidays may cause some to make unwise financial choices

Unfortunately, 60 percent of survey respondents say they spend too much during the holiday season. In fact, despite being stressed about debt, they’ll still spend an average of $1,649 on gifts this year, compared to $945 in 2018.

Additionally, the lure of deals is hard to resist; one in five Americans surveyed would risk becoming a victim of identity theft for a good Cyber Monday deal, and 56 percent would rather get a 10 percent discount at a store than improve their credit score by 10 points.

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