57% of Holiday Shoppers Fear High Prices Will Make It Harder to Buy Gifts This Year — and Many Will Take on Debt to Make Up the Difference, New Study Shows

Survey findings from Beyond Finance reveal that financial stress caused by inflation may seriously deflate holiday cheer

HOUSTON, Sept. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With inflation hitting a 40-year high this year, many Americans plan to go into debt — or deeper into debt — to finance their holiday purchases. And they’re not happy about it: nearly half of the new Beyond Finance survey respondents said they are concerned that holiday shopping and its related costs will worsen their mood around family and friends or even spoil their holiday completely.

The 2022 Holiday Financial Stress Survey, conducted for Beyond Finance Aug. 15-16 by the third-party survey platform Pollfish, found that 86% of the 1,081 U.S. adults queried planned to spend more than $250 on holiday shopping, with 23% planning to spend more than $1,000.

Of these respondents, 57% said they were more concerned about being able to afford holiday gifts than last year. Half (50%) said they expected to pay for their purchases with credit cards mostly; an additional 7% planned to use other forms of debt, such as cash advances and “buy now, pay later” offers. This compares to 38% who planned to use mostly cash or debit cards and 4% who said they would use gift cards or cash-back rewards. 

The survey also showed that those with existing credit card debt would be digging themselves into the most significant holes—with high-debt individuals planning to spend substantially more than debt-free shoppers. This points to the insidious nature of credit card debt, according to Dr. Erika Rasure, a financial therapist at Beyond Finance.

“Credit card balances experienced their largest increase in more than 20 years in the second quarter of this year,” Rasure said. “The holiday season will exacerbate this problem for millions of Americans, with those already trapped in a cycle of overspending suffering the most damaging consequences, both financially and emotionally.”

Key findings of the Beyond Finance survey include:

  • More Americans are worried about being able to afford holiday shopping this year, mainly due to inflation concerns.
  • Holiday shoppers expect to rely more on credit cards this year because of rising costs.
  • Most consumers believe that shopping will have a negative effect on their holiday spirit this year.
  • Those already in significant debt have the biggest worries—but also the biggest challenge breaking the cycle of overspending.
  • Those who intend to spend mostly cash this year are comparatively debt- and stress-free.

Visit the 2022 Holiday Financial Stress Survey at Beyond Finance’s website for the complete survey results.

About Beyond Finance

Beyond Finance, based in Houston, is one of the largest debt resolution organizations in the United States. The company uses personalized debt reduction programs and proprietary technology to give clients the clarity, confidence, and tools they need to move beyond debt. Since 2017, Beyond Finance has resolved more than $1 billion in client debt. It has additional offices in Chicago, Illinois, San Diego, and Irvine, California.

Shawn Paul Wood
Director of Communications