| November 20, 2015

Research of the Week: Fascinating Holiday Shopping Facts

American Express asked shoppers some unique questions

Each week, Consolidated Credit searches for financial research that can help you deal with your debt and budget. This week…

The interesting study

Unlike global studies like this one that predict Americans will spend more than $630 billion on holiday gifts, meals, trips, and decorations, American Express asked individual holiday shoppers some more personal questions.

The big result

Most holiday shoppers will give plastic, and many will pay with plastic this holiday season.

“Gift cards continue to top shopping lists,” American Express concludes, with 57 percent of all shoppers giving at least one. That’s up from 55 percent last year, and it’s way ahead of the next most popular gift category: “clothing and accessories” at 47 percent, which is one tick lower than 2014.

While 29 percent will pay with credit cards “with intent of paying the balance off in full,” history shows many will fall short of that goal. Meanwhile, 12 percent will charge “with intent to pay off over time.”

The fascinating details

One intriguing result is best revealed as a question: How many people will you buy holiday gifts for this season?

 

If you answered eight, you’re the typical American adult. “Holiday shoppers, on average, have eight people on their holiday list and expect to spend $839.”

What you can do

Charging $839 on high-interest credit cards and not paying it off for months can add hundreds of dollars to your final holiday shopping tab.

Before you run up those cards, consult Consolidated Credit’s Holiday Survival Guide for dozens of ways to save.

 

If you already have credit card debt as you begin your holiday shopping, then you face the daunting possibility of carrying that debt till next holiday season.

Before you buy a present, give yourself one. Call Consolidated Credit’s experts and receive a free debt analysis. You might qualify for debt-relief programs that can reduce total credit card payments by up to half. Call to learn more.

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