Almost One in Two Americans Plan To Trim Their Holiday Spending This Year

CashNetUSA Survey Finds Shopping Lists Include Fewer Gifts

Nov 20, 2013, 12:16 ET from CashNetUSA

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The continuing economic slump has nearly one in two Americans tightening their purse strings this holiday season.  Almost half of Americans (46 percent) report they will spend less on the holidays than last year, with those living in the South more likely than any other region to say they plan to spend less this year at 55 percent.  The online survey was conducted in October 2013 among 2,014 Americans ages 18+ by Harris Interactive on behalf of online lender CashNetUSA. The survey provides further proof that consumer uncertainty over the near-term economic outlook will have an impact on holiday spending.

According to the survey, only eight percent of Americans indicate they plan to spend more on the holidays this year than last year and 37 percent indicated they would spend the same as last year.  Nine percent say they don't spend any money on the holidays.

"The decline in consumer confidence is now dampening our holiday spirits," says Megan Staton, director of marketing for online lender CashNetUSA. "Americans are focusing on basic spending and curtailing what is perceived as non-essential costs.  With prices increasing and paychecks staying the same or declining, many Americans have no choice but to shorten the length of their holiday shopping lists."

Americans who plan on cutting holiday costs this year anticipate the following reductions in spending:

  • 63 percent will spend less on gifts for family members other than children
  • 54 percent will spend less on gifts for non-family members (e.g., teachers or service providers)
  • 43 percent will spend less on holiday travel
  • 35 percent will spend less on gifts for children or grandchildren
  • 30 percent will spend less on holiday meals

Residents in the Northeast part of the country (71 percent) who plan on cutting back on holiday spending this year are more likely than those in the West (53 percent) to cut back on gifts for family members other than children.

The survey also found Americans look to pay for the majority of their holiday spending with cash they have on hand.  When asked, those who are buying holiday gifts this year plan to use the following liquid cash sources:

  • 34 percent - money they saved all year
  • 27 percent - debit cards
  • 20 percent - money saved from November and December paychecks
  • 18 percent - money they saved specifically for the holidays

Thirty-one percent of those who are buying holiday gifts this year indicate they will charge gifts on credit cards, 12 percent will use layaway and 4 percent anticipate borrowing money.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CashNetUSA from October 17-21, 2013 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, visit the CashNetUSA newsroom

For a videotaped interview with Megan Staton commenting on the survey, please go to:

About CashNetUSA is one of America's leading, licensed online lenders of cash advances and one of the top choices among consumers needing access to credit to manage financial emergencies.  A trusted online provider of credit alternatives for hard-working people, believes everyone deserves access to simple and trustworthy financial services and is working to service underserved customers.

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About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit