We break down the data to reveal just how we’re spending over the holidays, among loved ones and when celebrating the good things in life. Read more…
How do we plan to pay for these gifts?
Most gift givers (68.9%) will be tapping into their savings to pay for some — or all — of their purchases. More than half (55.9%) will swipe or dip their credit cards, and 6.3% plan to borrow from friends and family to pay for gifts this year. Some 5.5% of those we surveyed will look to the fast cash that comes from a personal loan, and 5.4% will take out a short-term payday loan for holiday spending.
Interestingly, just over 2 in 5 spenders (40.2%) plan to tap into their savings for gifts, while 27.3% will solely rely on their credit cards.
- Slightly more women than men this year will turn to their savings for gift buying — 69.4% compared with 68.4% respectively.
- 58.7% of men will pay with credit cards, compared to 53.4% of women who plan to rely on plastic.
- 4.8% of women said they plan to use a short-term payday loan to pay for gifts this year, compared with 6.0% of men, while 4.9% of women said they’ll take out a personal loan — lower than the 6.2% of men who plan to.
- Borrowed money from friends or family will contribute to 5.8% of purchases made by women, compared with 6.8% of men’s.
- A higher proportion of women will solely rely on their savings (42.0%) when compared with men (38.3%), while a higher proportion of men will solely rely on their credit cards (28.9%) when compared to women (25.9%).
How many Americans will go into debt because of the holidays?
We conducted a poll* of 1,500 Americans and found that more than half (54.60%) expect to have a Christmas debt this year as a result of purchasing gifts, food, decorations, travel and other festive goods. That is an estimated 134 million American adults who will go into debt because of the holidays.
It will take an average of 4.5 months to pay off their Christmas debt.
- More men (57.43) than women (52.16%) will have a Christmas debt
- Of these women, the average number of months they expect to take to pay it off is 5.5 months, compared to only 4 months for men
- 50.31% of Millennials expect to be in the red post-Christmas, with an average of 4.5 months to pay it off.
- 58.10% of Gen X expect to be in Christmas debt, and they expect to pay it off over 5 months on average.
- 55.14% of Baby Boomers expect to be in Christmas debt, and the average time they expect to pay it off is 4 months.
How do we compare to our friends in the UK?
Brits plan to spend an average $522.63 (£390.56) each this year on gifts. But we remain the bigger spenders, budgeting $663.96 (£492.69) each.
- American men plan to spend more than American women at $725.15 — or $115.68 more than women.
- It’s a similar story for Brits, with men planning to spend $549.78 (£410.85), compared with $499.23 (£373.18) for British women.
- The cost of Christmas gifting seems to translate overseas, with Gen Xers the biggest spenders in both the US ($782.40) and the UK $568.92 (£425.10). Millennials come in second for both, at $609.03 compared with $557.76 (£416.76) in the UK. Baby boomers are in third place for planned spending, with an average of $576.39 here, compared with $469.33 (£350.68) in the UK.
Region or state
- The top spending states in America are Massachusetts ($1,126.90), Texas ($907.10) and New Jersey ($859.12).
- Comparatively, the UK’s biggest spenders are Londoners at $717.75 (£536.29), followed by those in Northern Ireland at $603.92 (£451.25) and Scotland at $559.13 (£417.77).
- For Americans, those residing in North Carolina plan to spend the least on holiday gifts this year ($370.53), followed by Georgia ($503.25) and Miami ($523.70).
- In the UK, those residing in the East of England plan to spend the least this year at $393.38 (£293.93), followed by the South East at $463.53 (£311.23) and the East Midlands at $437.61 (£326.98).
Ask an Expert