Consumer Payment Card News

Holiday Spending Stresses Out Americans

Holiday spending stresses out about a one-third of Americans. As one shopper confessed I would rather be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and not celebrate and spend for the December holidays. Another tipsy shopper called holiday shopping “Satan’s Treadmill.”

Notwithstanding, U.S shoppers plan to spare no expense getting their homes ready for the holidays by spending 10 times more on remodeling than gifts this season. Holiday Shopping Stresses Americans

Gift Giving & Travel Costs

Mr. Cooper, a major non-bank mortgage servicer and a mortgage lender, says its recent survey found the cost of gift giving and travel only magnifies the significant pressure credit card debt continues to play on their financial lives.

The survey also found:

• 52% have some level of credit-card debt with 44% saying it’ll take one to five years to pay off.

• Despite debt being an issue, nearly a third don’t put themselves on a budget each holiday season, with 7% still paying off last year’s gifts, and 25 percent expecting to go into some level of debt from gift giving this year.

• 30% wish they could skip the holidays entirely rather than spending money on presents.

• Almost half would give up receiving and buying gifts in order to pay off their mortgage faster.

• Thirty-eight percent would tap into their tax refund early to pay for presents.

Nevertheless, Mr. Cooper suggests the silver lining for millions is that their homes continue to be a source of wealth that can aid them in strengthening their personal balance sheets while potentially helping them find ways to invest in those sought-after home renovations.

Good Economy Goosing Spending

Holiday spending is likely to rise 4% this year boosted by higher wages. A recent Discover survey found 25% of U.S. consumers plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year.

About 35% of Millennials and 33% of Generation Z report an expected bump in spending, compared to 26% of Generation X and 16% of Baby Boomers.