The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, November 13, 2021 1:00 am

Charging for Christmas

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Many shoppers rely on credit to make their Christmases merry.

I was reminded of that fact recently by an email touting results of a new survey that showed 4-in-10 shoppers are willing to rack up debt -- or more debt -- for their holiday shopping this year.

The survey of 2,485 U.S. adults was commissioned by CreditCards.com and performed by YouGov Plc. during three days in mid-October.

The survey found 60% of respondents who celebrate the holidays and already have credit card debt are willing to take on more debt during this season, compared with 30% who don't currently have credit card debt.

Slightly more than three-quarters of holiday celebrants said they are willing to explore ways to reduce their gift-giving costs this year.

Options include actively seeking store sales and coupons, limiting gift exchanges to immediate family members and giving homemade gifts. Other alternatives include traditional gift-giving taboos such as re-gifting, buying used/secondhand items, and skipping gift giving completely.

Most consumers surveyed expected to spend the same amount as last year -- or less, a combined 69%. Only 13% planned to spend more. At the time of the questionnaire, 9% didn't know yet.

Then again, all those responses might be rubbish, according to Ted Rossman, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. 

“There’s often a disconnect between what people say they’re going to do and what they actually do,” he said in a statement. “We’ve seen this in recent consumer sentiment and spending data.

"Even though people say they’re worried about things like inflation and supply chain disruptions, they continue to spend robustly," he said. "I think this will be a strong holiday season for retailers.”

As for me, I'm still in the don't know category. But I'll admit I really like those cost-cutting ideas.

sslater@jg.net 


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