Thirty percent of Americans overspent during the holidays, and it’s likely that many of them will be paying for the 2021 holiday season well into 2022, according to a post-holiday shopping survey by WalletHub, a personal finance website. However, 41 million Americans say the 2021 holiday season was worth going into debt for.
And covid didn’t affect their holidays, 56 percent of Americans said. That’s up from 40 percent last year.
“Vaccines have been effective, travel has resumed, and we’re getting used to life with the virus, so it’s understandable that most people report being unaffected by Covid this holiday season,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.
In another finding from the survey, 54 million Americans said 2021 was a “poor” year for their finances. And 68 percent of Americans think the U.S. economy won’t go back to normal in 2022.
“Even though unemployment is low and the stock market is high, many people are still struggling financially due to Covid, rising inflation, resurgent credit card debt levels and other headwinds,” said Gonzalez. “The key is to learn from what went wrong in 2021 and try to improve in the new year.”
About 202 million Americans are worried about saving enough money – almost four times the number of Americans worried about getting out of debt.
Among other findings from the survey:
- About one in four Americans say their relationship with credit has changed due to covid.
- Sixth-three percent of Americans would work longer hours to get out of debt, while 78 percent would cut out luxuries, 70 percent would skip vacations, and 29 percent would give up social media.
- Eleven percent of Americans expect to have more credit card debt by the end of the year.
- About three in five Americans think 2022 will be better for their finances than 2021.
- Fifty-seven percent of Americans plan to pay off their holiday shopping debt by the end of January, 11 percent by February, 12 percent by March, and 20 percent by April or later.
- Thirty-eight percent of Americans plan to start shopping for the holidays earlier in 2022.
- About one in five Americans encountered scams while trying to do their holiday shopping.
Good luck in 2022. If you need help figuring out a plan for paying your bills and debts, see my article on how to spruce up your finances.