Think Finance published its latest report titled 2012 Underbanked Financial Sentiment Index
early last week, which finds that Americans from all income levels are feeling the stress that comes with the holiday season, particularly gift-giving.
It is understandable why many are under pressure since nearly half (45 percent) of survey respondents said they do not expect to have all of the money to cover holiday expenses. Also, 85 percent responded that they will spend the same amount of money on gifts this year, while 54 percent plan to spend $500 or less and 27 percent plan to spend between $500 and $1,000.
A large percentage of Americans (45 percent) explained that their stress levels are high or extremely high. Nearly half stated that the holiday season brings so much pressure that they would find it preferable to skip Christmas completely.
“The economy has shown gradual improvement in recent years, but everyday Americans are still working hard to cover expenses making holiday spending particularly stressful," said Ken Rees, CEO, at Think Finance, in a press release. "The fact that people across income levels are turning to layaway makes it clear that we need more financial options."
Despite the desire to refrain from shopping at the busy malls or online, a portion of shoppers plan to use layaway programs, but they also say they want more financing options. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds reported wanting extra financing options other than store credit cards or layaway packages.
A Gallup poll
found that the average American will spend $770 in gifts this season. It was reported
that consumers north of the border in Canada will be spending on average $1,610 this holiday season, which is up 15 percent from the year prior.
The Think Finance online survey was conducted with 1,000 adults during an eight-day period in October.