More Than One-in-Five U.S. Adults Plans to Get a Second Job to Afford the Holidays, Finds New Survey

--Forty-Five Percent Report They Will Have Difficulty Affording Gifts This Year--

Oct 19, 2011, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The holiday season is a joyous time of year, but for many, it can be a difficult drain on their finances. According to a new ( survey of more than 2,200 U.S. adults, more than one-in-five(1) (21 percent) plan to get a second job to afford the holidays this year, while 12 percent(2) said they already had one. This survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of from October 7 - 11, 2011, among 2,466 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.

Many people will be supplementing their incomes with second jobs in an effort to make ends meet this year, and for good reason. Forty-five percent of U.S. adults said that they will have difficulty affording gifts this year. An additional two-thirds of U.S. adults who shared that they will have difficulty affording any aspects of the holiday season reported they will have more difficulty this year compared to last year, while 28 percent feel they will have about the same difficulty this year as compared to last.

"The holidays are a wonderful time of year for numerous reasons, but for many people, the extra expenses can put a strain on their financial situation," said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at "Holiday obligations, such as buying gifts, entertaining and traveling can add up very quickly. As a result, many consumers are mapping out their budget far in advance, using coupons and setting aside money to minimize the effect of holiday expenses, and, to limit their debt."

When it comes to paying for holiday expenses like gifts, wrapping paper and entertaining, U.S. adults who plan to celebrate the holidays shared how they plan to purchase items this year:

  • Cash, check or debit card – 77 percent
  • Credit cards – 36 percent
  • Layaway – 10 percent
  • Borrow the money from family and friends – 3 percent

While there are many options for payment, figuring out how to save money on the holidays is no easy task. When asked what was the most creative way they've saved money on holiday expenses, U.S. adults shared the following:

  • Bought gifts and wrapping paper a year in advance, when all the holiday merchandise is on clearance.
  • Put my birthday gift cards to use toward Christmas presents.
  • Assembled theme gift baskets using items I bought throughout the year using coupons.
  • Saved up coins all year and submitted them to a coin counting machine to get a gift certificate.
  • Created origami of Christmas icons to send with home baked cookies.
  • Cut out pictures from last year's received cards and made my own gift tags.
  • Don't buy wrapping paper or gift bags – last year I wrapped all gifts in recycled newspaper.
  • Bought clear plates and bowls and accessorize with colored napkins depending on the season.
  • Bought items all year long at flea markets, auctions and thrift stores.
  • Set up a "Christmas Club" account and put money in savings from January through November.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from October 7-11, 2011, among 2,466 U.S. adults aged 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, please contact: Allison Nawoj,  


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(1) Among those who will have any difficulty affording any aspects of the holiday season, are employed and do not currently have a second job.

(2) Among those who will have any difficulty affording any aspects of the holiday season and are employed.