Poll: Holiday gift spending will leave many in debt for months

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Americans credit card debt has just hit a disturbing record of $1.02 trillion according to the federal reserve.

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Keeping to a budget around the holidays is as tough as going to a year-end party and avoiding the butter cookies, bite-sized appetizers and cocktails.

In fact, 25% of Americans who use plastic to buy gifts, food and decorations for the house say it will take them six months or more to pay off their post-holiday debt, according to a poll of 1,000 American adults released Thursday by Varo Money, a mobile banking start-up.

“Many Americans will be paying for the holidays well into the new year,” noted Colin Warsh, CEO of VaroMoney.

The good news is not everyone puts themselves into a financial hole by going overboard. Nearly half of Americans, 46%, say they will pay off the balance on their credit card within one month, which means they will erase their debt when their next statement hits. And 16% say they will erase the debt in one to three months.

When it comes to spending, some 28% of folks polled said they will spend between $250 and $500 on gifts this year. The most common purchase that breaks the budget are last-minute gifts, cited by 36% of people polled say. Other holiday expenses Americans “fail to fully take into account” include regular holiday gifts and food, both by 27% of those in the survey.

Living as a millennial is not cheap. Veuer’s Natasha Abellard (@NatashaAbellard) has the story.

Over-indulging around the holidays aside, most Americans still want to better their personal finances in 2018. The top New Year’s resolution of those polled was to “save money.”

Many said they’re willing to cut out “guilty pleasures.” In fact, 30% said they want to spend less on “eating out,” and 21% said they want to shop less online.

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