Americans plan to spend about the same amount of money or less this year on holiday-related expenses.
According to a recent survey by Opinion Research Corporation International conducted for Consumer Federation of America and Credit Union National Association, 49 percent of respondents said when thinking about holiday spending, they intend to spend about the same as last year. Twenty percent said they plan to spend much less than last year and 18 percent said they will spend somewhat less.
When asked about their current financial situation, 46 percent said it’s about the same as last year, 17 percent said it’s somewhat better and 15 percent said their financial situation is somewhat worse compared to a year ago. When comparing income to the last year, 52 percent said it’s about the same as last year while 21 percent said it’s slightly higher. Eight percent said their income is significantly lower than it was a year ago.
When it comes to paying the bills on time, 25 percent of respondents said they are somewhat concerned about meeting their monthly payments. Twenty percent of respondents said they are somewhat unconcerned, while 18 percent said they are very concerned. Only 2 percent said they don’t have any debt. Debt includes credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans and other installment loans.
It seems Americans are putting money away though, specifically for the holidays.
Fifty four percent of respondents to the survey said they have funds — not including lines of credit — that are available for an unexpected expense of at least $1,000.
Respondents said if they received an unexpected $5,000 , 46 percent would use it to pay down current debt while 44 percent would invest the money in some way or put it in savings.
What would you do if you received an unexpected amount of cash? Do you plan to spend more this holiday season? Post your thoughts below.