FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (11/30/11)--Most Americans don't have a budget for their holiday shopping, according to a new poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).
NEFE found 63% of Americans surveyed will not set or have a budget for their holiday shopping.
"It's concerning that the majority of shoppers this holiday season will not have a spending plan along with their shopping list," said Ted Beck, president/CEO of NEFE. "Having a gift budget really helps keep spending on track and prevents a situation where emotion takes over."
The NEFE survey also finds many Americans are concerned about how they will pay for their holiday expenses this year.
About 49% of Americans are much/somewhat more concerned about being able to afford holiday expenses this season, compared with their level of confidence five years ago. As a result, 54% of those who have holiday expenses plan to spend less this year than they did five years ago.
"Americans are facing a lot of challenges because of the duration of the current economic climate, so it's no surprise there is heightened concern over how much money people can spend on their loved ones," Beck said.
Sixty-four percent of Americans surveyed anticipate gifts to be their largest expenditure this year, with 60% planning to spend the most on family members. Other expenses include food/groceries for holiday meals (12%), travel (8%), entertainment/entertaining or holiday greeting cards (both 2%), gift wrap/decorating and other (both 1%). Ten percent anticipate not having any holiday-related expenses this year.
Of those anticipating holiday expenses this year, 67% plan to use cash. Forty-five percent will pay with credit, with 32% paying the full balance in the first statement cycle and 13% not paying off the full balance in that period. Seventeen percent expect to pay from savings, 7% will use layaway, 5% will rely on a holiday or year-end bonus, 3% plan on help from relatives or friends, 2% a short-term loan and 5% plan to pay by other means.
Earlier this month, the 2011 Consumer Federation of America (CFA)/Credit Union National Association (CUNA) holiday spending survey found that spending continues to improve following the great recession, but "spending plans are still considerably below where they were before the recession," according to CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel (News Now Nov. 22).
This year's CFA/CUNA survey has found that 8% of respondents plan to spend more on gifts and holiday items, with 41% of respondents saying they would spend less this holiday season.
A survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions indicates that 38% of respondents in the nation will borrow to finance gifts (News Now Nov. 28)