Holiday spending leads Americans to dread Christmas, go into debt: Report

The average consumer is expected to spend about $602.65 on holiday gifts this year

The winter holidays have become a time of dread for many Americans, according to a new study.

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On Monday, LendingTree published its 2019 Holiday Spending Survey that found 61 percent of Americans are dreading the holidays because of higher spending, with 57 percent saying they are dreading Christmas specifically.

In fact, the pressure of holiday spending leads consumers to lose sleep and go into debt, according to the report.

Millennials are particularly feeling that pressure, with 71 percent saying they feel obligated to buy gifts and almost half of those respondents saying they want to give the “best” gifts, the report found.

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Of the Gen X respondents, 60 percent said they feel pressured to purchase gifts, while only 36 percent of Baby Boomers feel the same pressure.

Parents of children under 18 years old are also struggling with the pressure to spend money because they don’t want to disappoint their children, according to LendingTree.

The survey found that 69 percent of parents are worried about disappointing their children this year and 75 percent are feeling pressured to buy gifts.

Meanwhile, 40 percent of those parents said they expect to go into debt during the holiday season and 30 percent said they are still paying off debt from last year’s holidays.

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According to the report, parents are expected to spend about $850.38 on holiday gifts this year, while the average consumer is expected to spend about $602.65.

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In its report, LendingTree also offered tips on how to manage spending around the holidays, including cutting back on spending in other categories, setting a holiday budget and being honest with loved ones about that budget.

The company also suggested considering a holiday loan, being creative with gifts -- such as making gifts or doing a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange -- being smart about holiday sales and picking quality gifts over quantity.

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