Americans Still Feel Pressured to Spend More on the Holidays

Key findings

  • Though most Americans plan to spend less or the same this Holiday, some are still feeling financial pressure. 
  • 22.5% of Americans say they feel pressured to spend more on gifts than they’re comfortable with, according to our latest survey (Nov 22, 2020)
  • A previous survey from 2018 found that at least 40% of people felt holiday spending pressure, so at 22.5% in 2020, this number is down considerably during the pandemic.
  • 58% of those respondents who felt pressure were women making them about 10% more likely to feel spending pressure than men.

The spirit of giving is in the air and the online holiday shopping season has begun in the midst of a global pandemic. Traditions are changing this year for most Americans with travel restrictions, retail closures and financial stress causing most to rethink what “normal” means in 2020.

In that context, we wanted to know if Americans were still feeling pressure to spend more than they’re comfortable with this Holiday season. We surveyed 796 people throughout the country to find out what the holiday spending dynamic is like this year.

Do you feel pressure to spend more on holiday gifts than you’re comfortable with?

Fewer people say they feel pressure to spend this holiday season than in 2018

In 2018 a survey was conducted where 2 in 5 (40%) of respondents said they felt pressure to spend more this holiday. That’s significantly higher than this year’s figure of 22.5%, so the pandemic has likely changed American’s feelings on that front. Some are still feeling that same pressure as before but almost half as many.

Women are more likely to feel pressure to spend more this Holiday

Of people who said they were feeling pressure to spend more than  they’re comfortable with this Holiday, 58%  were women. This discrepancy could have many causes, including the fact that 68% of women say they or another female is primarily responsible for their household’s holiday shopping. 

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