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With the holidays just around the corner, most consumers are likely thinking about what purchases they need to make and how much it's going to cost them.
When it comes to holiday gift purchases, consumers say they plan to spend a whopping 75% more in 2019 than they did last year, according to a survey conducted by Experian. Shoppers say they're planning to spend an average of $1,649 this holiday season, compared with the $949 they planned for last year—a $700 increase.
As part of our ongoing look at holiday spending, Experian surveyed 1,159 consumers to see how they felt coming into the holiday season and how they were planning to spend. Read on for our insights and analysis.
Consumers Feel More Stressed About Holiday Spending This Year
With the massive potential increase in holiday spending in 2019, it's not surprising that consumers are increasingly stressed coming into the holiday season.
Of the consumers surveyed, 38% said they were feeling stressed as the holiday shopping season approached, according to Experian. That's an eight percentage point increase since last year's 30%. In addition to being more stressed, the survey found that more consumers reported feeling overwhelmed, anxious, panicked and resentful as they did in 2018.
The largest change in consumer feelings around the holiday was in the number of respondents who said they were feeling thoughtful. Since last year, the portion of consumers that were feeling thoughtful dropped by 9 percentage points—the highest drop of any emotion.
More Consumers Plan to Pay With Cash and Debit Cards
Even though fewer consumers reported feeling thoughtful during the holidays, this didn't seem to be the case when it came to how they planned on making their holiday purchases. More consumers said they planned to pay for their holiday gifts using cash and debit—both payment choices that require you plan to have extra cash on hand.
Overall, the survey found that respondents seemed averse to taking on new debt. The portion of people planning to use a major credit card to pay for their holiday gifts decreased by 4 percentage points. And 48% of respondents said holiday shopping is stressful because they don't want to add to their existing debt.
This trend of consumers using liquid funds to make their purchase may be a nod to a strong economy that has allowed more people to save and plan ahead for holiday expenses. But while more say they'll spend with cash, 39% this group also said that in the past they have run out of money while holiday shopping.
This insight urges caution when it comes to holiday spending, as oftentimes unexpected purchases—like travel and last minute gifts—can derail planned spending during the holidays.
One in Four Consumers Plan to Open a New Credit Card This Holiday Season
Consumers looking for an extra source of funds sometimes choose to add a credit card to their wallet. A total of 23% percent of consumers surveyed said they planned to open a new credit card during the holidays, according to Experian.
Some of these respondents—36%—said they wanted to get a retail card for in-store discounts, and 35% said they wanted to use the new card to maximize rewards and cash back with a new card.
If you're considering opening a new credit card to make holiday purchases, check out Experian CreditMatchTM to get paired with specialized credit card offers based on your FICO® Score* . Opening a new credit card can help your credit score and also offer you valuable rewards and cash back if you manage it responsibly.
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