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STUDY: Nearly 50% of Consumers Have Holiday Gift-Giving Guilt

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Nearly 50% of Consumers Have Holiday Gift-Giving Guilt

The holiday spirit spurred a record number of American shoppers to open their wallets this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, and spending was up 16% compared to the same time period in 2018. Yet, despite their generosity, almost half of shoppers felt some kind of guilt about their gift-giving, according to a new report from CompareCards.

Key Findings

  • Nearly half of holiday shoppers carry some sort of gift-giving guilt.
  • Millennials have the most gift-giving guilt, with 50% reporting they feel remorse over spending either too much or not enough on presents.
  • 70% of consumers have at least one holiday shopping money regret.
  • 69% of respondents made at least one impulse purchase this holiday season. The top five impulse buys were clothing, shoes, electronics, food/beverage and home decor.
  • 17% of Americans regretted at least one of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases, especially men (23%) and millennials (also 23%).
  • 23% of all shoppers surveyed made holiday purchases while drunk, including 31% of men and the same number of millennials.
  • 28% of cardholders used a credit card with a 0% intro APR promotion for their holiday shopping purchases. That number jumps to 37% for male cardholders and 41% for Gen X cardholders.

Nearly half of holiday shoppers carry some sort of gift-giving guilt

47% of respondents received at least one unexpected gift and felt bad that they didn’t have a gift to give in return, and 46% of respondents felt guilty that someone gave them a more expensive present than they gave in return.

Millennials report having the most gift guilt

62% of consumers surveyed this holiday season said they were satisfied with the amount of money they spent on gifts. However, among those who did feel remorse, millennials took the lead. Some felt bad about spending too much on gifts (about 24%) and some felt regret over not spending as much on gifts as they would have liked (about 26%). Given the financial burdens facing this generation, not having enough to spend on gifts could be a contributing factor.

70% of consumers have at least one holiday shopping money regret

Nearly 70% of consumers reported having at least one holiday shopping money regret, ranging from not being able to spend enough on gifts to succumbing to impulse shopping or overspending. Other regrets include consumers spending too much on themselves and not being able to spend as much as they wanted on gifts for their friends or coworkers.

Almost 1 in 4 shoppers made holiday purchases while drunk

If you drink and shop, your head might not be the only thing hurting the next day. Out of all survey respondents, 23% said they had made a purchase this holiday season while drunk either “once or twice” or “many times.” Shoppers in the Gen X and millennial age groups were the most likely to make purchases while intoxicated, with about 32% of the first group and 31% of the latter group admitting to having done so.

How to cope with post-holiday shopping guilt

If you’ve taken on credit card debt or spent too much, helpful steps include:

  • Make a debt-repayment budget that you can realistically commit to.
  • Identify how much you can pay beyond the monthly minimum and how long it will take you to pay off the full amount.
  • For those trying to rebuild savings after overspending, identify areas in your budget where you can cut back, at least temporarily, until your safety net has been built back up.
  • Make plans now for 2020 holiday spending

Planning ahead, sticking to a budget and talking with family members to set expectations are all important parts of making your holiday shopping a successful experience. One way to try to get family and friends on board is to establish a tradition which can be both fun and cost-efficient.

If you’re using a credit card for holiday shopping, you might be able to save money by opening a card with a 0% intro APR offer, which will give you anywhere from six months to a year or more to pay off your balance before the intro APR expires. About 28% of respondents said they had used a card offering a 0% intro APR for their holiday shopping.

To view the full report and for more information, visit https://www.comparecards.com/blog/holiday-gift-giving-guilt-survey/.

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