The Holiday Season Puts a Quarter of Americans Into Debt

Between purchasing the perfect gift, buying food to feed the whole family and traveling to see loved ones, over a quarter of Americans have gone into debt due to holiday spending, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday found that 28 percent have gone into debt during the holiday season. And those racking up debt will be stuck paying it off through March – or about three months after the holidays.


The survey revealed that respondents plan to spend $972 on holiday-related costs this year, but many will overspend. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they have a budget for the holiday season – with millennials most likely to have one (63 percent) – but just one-fifth of those “always” stick to it.


Of those who don’t stick to their budget, the average respondent will overspend by $489 – and a quarter of those will overspend by more than $500. Gifts for family and friends was the area in which respondents were the most likely to overspend (46 percent), followed by food and drinks – both for home (19 percent) and when eating out (14 percent).