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Consumers Say They’ll Cut Back on Spending This Holiday Season
11 Dec
If a recent online poll is right, some people could be waking up to coal in their stockings on Christmas morning. That’s because the majority of consumers said they were cutting way back on spending this holiday season—and possibly even spending nothing at all on holiday purchases.

“I’m getting nothing for Christmas,” is the refrain of a funny holiday song, but no one wants that to be the case when they head for the tree on that special morning. Yet 33% of people who participated in a National Foundation for Credit Counseling poll said they plan to spend nothing this holiday season. They said their finances were already pinched and could not take another hit for the holidays.

No one wants to spend

When asked whether they would spend about the same as they did last holiday season, cut back, spend more, or not spend anything, 86% indicated that they would either cut back or spend nothing.

A scant 11% of consumers said their spending habits would resemble last year’s, because their finances are fairly stable. And a miniscule 3% said that they are feeling good about their finances and ready to break out their wallets and hit the stores for gifts.

This was the fourth year in a row that the NFCC asked people about their holiday spending intentions, and also the fourth year that the majority of respondents came back with the Scrooge-like answer that they are going to hold tight to their cash and credit cards this holiday season. Each year, most consumers said they do not plan to spend the same or more as the previous year.

Intentions not always the same as reality

No matter how little people plan to spend, the fact is that many consumers will start the New Year with a spending hangover and a pile of credit card bills. The NFCC is a non-profit dedicated to helping people find a way out of debt and manage their spending, so they have seen first-hand the effect of these broken promises to spend less. They urge people to contact an NFCC-approved financial counselor for post-holiday help if they spend more than they planned.

This NFCC poll was conducted online between November 1 and 30 and included answers from 1,408 people.

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