Shopping for Holidays… Minus the Heartache
Advertising Disclosure is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.
Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Cardholder Benefits » Shopping for Holidays… Minus the Heartache

Shopping for Holidays… Minus the Heartache

Add to Favorites:

On the face of it, the holiday season is meant to be a time for joy, festivity, rejoicing, exchanging gifts, and sitting down to sumptuous dinners. However, when you peel back the wrapping paper and sneak a peek, you notice that there is an undercurrent of financial stress and emotional anxiety behind the holiday fervor.

Keeping up with the tradition of giving gifts and recreating a picture perfect holiday season can take a toll on the finances of the average American family. This is further aggravated by factors like poor money management, emotional spending, and last minute purchases. The statistics show that gifts bought on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa can bite a whopping 4% out of your income annually. So, if the combined earnings of your family total around $50,000, you could very well be spending up to $2,000 on holiday shopping!

The biggest culprit that throws us headlong into a financial pit is failure to make a budget for the holidays. Only when December comes rolling around the corner is when most of us realize there isn’t enough money in our savings to cover necessary expenses. When pushed into a corner, our natural instinct is to pull out the plastic and begin charging. The reasoning being, "Enjoy in haste, regret at leisure." Before you know it, it`s the New Year and you are carrying the burden of your extravagances last year.

2011, however, promises to be different. An online poll conducted by MSN and revealed that 44% of shoppers were planning to use cash instead of the plastic to pay for holiday shopping this year. Those relying solely on credit cards made up 36% of the 9,500 respondents, while a little more than 15% indicated they would fall back on their debit cards. Less than 1% was planning on using gift cards.

With the spending frenzy at an all time high, the question still remains whether shoppers will stick to their resolution of using cash and going easy on the credit. This is a question that even financial experts cannot answer with certainty. However, they do advise shoppers to approach holiday shopping in a systematic manner. First start by being realistic when you are making a shopping list, and follow up by creating a definite plan for your expenditures. If possible, cash in your reward points and turn them into gifts and presents.

In the end, try to work with the cash you have and avoid giving in to the temptation of using credit cards when you feel the crunch. This is the best way to deal with the post holiday season hangover that threatens to last well into the coming year, unless you are very, very careful.

Add to Favorites:
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Other Cardholder Benefits Research:

Related Research:

How to Get Free Wi-Fi in the Air

By Herbert Moore, Posted: September 28, 2016

Sometimes in-flight Wi-Fi is the bare necessity when you travel abroad or within the country. However not all airlines offer free in-flight Wi-Fi. There is only a couple of airlines that will allow you to use Wi-Fi ... Continue reading

Amazon Credit Cards Review

By Allison Martin, Posted: May 30, 2016

When was launched 20 years ago, few could have envisioned how far the company would come. What was once an online specialty bookstore is now an Internet juggernaut that sells nearly anything and has made major inroads into ... Continue reading

How Much Do Shell Cards Really Save on Gas?

By Allison Martin, Posted: April 20, 2016

There is an endless amount of gas cards on the market, and practically every major gas station, including Shell, has options to choose from. In fact, Shell offers two options for gas cards for consumers. Continue reading