Inflation continues to be a significant factor affecting the economy, and its impact is felt across various sectors, including holiday shopping. Despite the persistent rise in prices, a recent survey conducted by Debt.com reveals that American consumers are adapting their holiday spending habits in response to these economic pressures.
According to the Debt.com survey, which involved 1,000 U.S. adults, there is a noticeable shift in sentiment compared to last year. Sixty percent of respondents anticipate they will spend more on holiday shopping due to inflation, an increase from the fifty-four percent who felt the same way the previous year. A significant portion of these shoppers, specifically fifty-four percent, plan to rely on credit cards to finance their holiday expenditures.
Howard Dvorkin, CPA and chairman of Debt.com, comments on this trend, noting that accruing debt during the holiday season has become somewhat of a cultural norm in America. The anticipation of holiday sales and the fear of missing out on desired items can drive consumers to spend beyond their means.
The survey also highlights a strategic shift in shopping behavior, with two-thirds of participants starting their holiday shopping earlier than in past years. Thirty-four percent began in November, while fifteen percent took advantage of a temporary dip in inflation rates over the summer to start their shopping.
However, this change in shopping patterns comes at a time when credit card debt is on the rise, having increased by sixteen point six percent from the previous year. With Americans now owing over one trillion dollars in credit card debt and facing average interest rates exceeding twenty-six percent on major credit cards—and even higher for retail store cards—Dvorkin advises consumers to carefully consider their gift-giving lists. He suggests focusing on purchasing gifts for a select group of close family and friends rather than extending the list to include every acquaintance, which could lead to unnecessary financial strain.
Debt.com serves as a resource for individuals seeking assistance with various forms of debt, including credit card, student loan, and tax debt, as well as credit repair and bankruptcy. The platform connects consumers with certified providers offering expert advice and solutions tailored to their unique situations.