Millennials are going into debt to find the “best presents”

It’s the most spenderi-fic time of the year! As parents and children try to show their love, they, unfortunately, do it not through time spent together and sincerely written cards, but blowing their gift budget and going into debt for the cheeriest season.
That may be why 61% of Americans are dreading the holidays and Santa Claus is giving them the blahs due to the costs – and the new debt, piled atop last year’s debt, according to a new Lending Tree survey.
The team at LendingTree surveyed over 1,200 Americans to explore how modern holidays influence consumers financially and emotionally.

The whole season is to be avoided if you don’t want to spend

While 61% of respondents dreaded the entire winter holiday season because of spending, 57% are dreaded Christmas specifically.
  • What will you spend? A typical consumer will drop an average of $602.65 on winter holiday gifts this year. Add children under 18, and that number spikes (but not like spiked eggnog) to $850.38. Yes, you’ll probably pay this – 76% feel pressure to buy gifts for their family.
  • However, spending often comes with a more insidious price: a minority of one in five are still paying off bills from last year’s holidays. And a whopping quarter (25%) of respondents readily admit that they will go into debt this holiday season.
  • Millennials are experiencing more pressure (as usual) than other generations, with 71% feeling obligated to buy gifts this season. And they’re perfectionists about their giving: nearly half said they want to give the “best” presents.

Competitive gifting

Getting rivalrous about what you buy your friends, family, and even coworkers is the latest thing, accord to a third of survey respondents who admit they feel competitive about giving gifts and want to show everyone else by giving “all the best presents.” (Almost half of Millennials want to hand out the best offerings).

Parents are competitive with themselves over disappointing their kids

Moms and dads want to create a perfect Christmas, and 69% of parents with children under 18 are fretting about letting them down this season. A full 75% of parents reported feeling under duress to buy gifts – meanwhile, a third of parents with minors are still paying off debt from last holiday season.

Millennials aren’t having fun either

Though many might not have a family full of kids to provide presents for, they still feel the strain:
  • 71% feel the need to buy gifts for others
  • 36% expect they’ll go into deft over gift-buying
  • 50% are losing sleep over holiday spending woes
  • 29% are still paying off debt from last holiday

If we could give you just one piece of advice for getting through the holiday trifecta, it’s that if you can get through it without tipping into debt, you’re a winner already. Otherwise, you’re on your own.