SOURCE: SaveUp, Inc.

SaveUp

November 27, 2013 08:03 ET

Americans Plan to Avoid Holiday Debt

New SaveUp Data Indicates That 41 Percent of Americans Plan to Shop Smarter This Holiday Season and Spend Less

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - November 27, 2013) - SaveUp (www.saveup.com), a national online financial rewards program for saving and paying down debt, today announced the findings of its November U.S. Consumer Savings and Debt Report that identifies consumers' savings and spending habits. Findings show that over forty percent of Americans plan to avoid credit card spending over the holiday season and instead are opting to use cash, debit or checks.

Consumers are planning to reduce holiday spending this year. Overall sentiment indicates a low appetite for leveraging credit and a desire to cut back on holiday spending compared to last year. In a poll conducted of SaveUp users, 41 percent of respondents reported that they are planning to spend less during the holidays this year than last year. Conversely, only 19 percent of those polled indicated that they are planning to spend more than they did last year. The remainder plans to spend the same amount that they did last year.

"As we head into the holidays, we are seeing more consumer forethought when it comes to overspending," says SaveUp CEO, Priya Haji. "At SaveUp, we are encouraged to see that Americans intend to be more financially responsible this holiday season."

A recent Gallup poll determined that the average American plans to spend $704 this year, down more than 10 percent from last year. The overall level of decreased holiday spending is a sign that many Americans remain skeptical following the recession. According to Gallup, this is the first decrease in planned holiday spending since 2009.

In addition to spending less this year than last year, consumers have also indicated a hesitancy towards leveraging debt for holiday spending. When SaveUp polled users to determine how they were planning to pay for holiday purchases the majority of respondents were disproportionately in favor of using cash, debit or checks over a credit card this year.

Payment Method % of Respondents*
Cash, Debit or Check 69.7%
Credit Card 41.2%
Layaway 3.9%
Holiday Savings Fund 11.4%

*Respondents could pick more than one

The consumer confidence index reached its lowest point this year at 72 in October, down from its peak of 85.1 in August. The combination of the Congressional budgetary quarrel and Affordable Care Act snafus may be to blame. With consumers feeling cautiously optimistic as they continue to recover financially, Washington's dysfunction may have set the pace for a soft Q4 in the retail sector. 

Regardless of the catalysts, Americans plan to cut back on holiday spending and avoid accruing holiday debt. Perhaps this is part of the maturation process resulting from The Great Recession.

Methodology
The SaveUp U.S. Consumer Savings and Debt Report analyzes current savings and debt levels of its user base and makes monthly comparisons pulled at least 30 days prior and no more than 90 days prior to the stated month. This month's report is based on the data of a representative sample of more than 30,000 SaveUp users' savings and debt balances.

About SaveUp
Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based SaveUp is the first free nationwide rewards program that encourages Americans to save money, pay down debt and make positive financial changes. By partnering with major consumer brands and financial institutions, SaveUp gives users the opportunity to win exciting prizes for performing positive financial actions. Individual user information is secure on the site with bank level encryption. Intuit provides the back-end aggregation technology and SaveUp has completed a bank-level security audit.

To get rewarded for your positive financial actions or to partner with SaveUp as a bank or sponsor, please visit us at www.saveup.com.

Sources
Gallup.com, Lydia Saad
Thomson Reuters

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