The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a sleigh of expenses. We all love giving thoughtful gifts, and that’s just the start of the spending. Gift-giving is the obvious expense, but remember the expense of the ribbons, wrappings, tags, tinsel, and trappings, too!
This year, more than ever, it’s important to hit the pause button and consider the impact of our holiday spending. We, the people, currently carry a staggering $1.08 trillion(1) of credit card debt, a historic high that sent heads into the sand faster than Santa sliding down a well-greased chimney!
The upcoming Christmas season will land firmly upon America’s next credit card statement. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans will spend around $875 each on the holidays. That’s 3-4% more this year than last, totaling approximately $957.3 billion.(2)
That’s right – we’re expecting nearly a trillion dollars in holiday spending this year. While the holidays are certainly a time for spreading joy and cheer, it’s also important to be mindful of our spending habits and how they can contribute to the debt crisis many of us and our neighbors face.
The High Cost of Christmas
When we think about the holidays, we often think about spending time with loved ones and creating special memories. Unfortunately, many of those memories also come at a high cost. According to the NRF, the average American will spend $875 on holiday expenses this year. That’s not just gifts – it’s everything from food and decorations to entertaining and travel expenses.
And while it may seem like a small amount compared to the trillions of dollars our country carries in debt, that $875 can quickly add up. For many families, that extra spending can further push them into financial strain.
The Impact on Our Country’s Debt
The high level of consumer debt in our country is alarming. Our nation’s overall debt grows as individuals and families continue to overspend and rack up credit card balances. And as that debt grows, it becomes an even bigger burden on our economy.
According to the Federal Reserve, consumer debt has steadily increased since 2012.(3) As of Quarter 3 of 2023, credit card debt alone totaled $1.08 trillion – a 4% increase just from the previous quarter. This alarming trend impacts our financial stability as individuals and families and contributes to our country’s overall debt crisis.
Mindful Spending is The Solution
Fortunately, there are ways we can all make a positive impact on our financial situation and help prevent further contributing to our country’s debt issue. As we enter this holiday season, we must be mindful of our spending and make smart financial choices.
Here are some suggestions to help encourage mindful Christmas spending:
Use cash or debit instead of credit cards
This simple switch can help you stick to a budget and avoid overspending. Plus, it can also save you from interest charges later on!
The convenience of credit may be tempting, but the reality is that we often end up spending more than we originally planned when using plastic. Keep your spending to the money that is physically in your hand or bank account to minimize the chances of overspending,
Say no to retail credit promotions
While it may be tempting to open a new credit card for holiday discounts, remember that these offers often come with high-interest rates and fees. It’s not worth it in the long run. See the suggestion above.
Consider skipping gifting
It can be difficult in our capitalistic society, but sometimes, the best gift we can give our loved ones is our time and attention. Instead of spending money on gifts, focus on creating meaningful experiences together.
Keep the focus
The holidays are about celebrating and cherishing loved ones, not extravagant gifts or trying to keep up with the Joneses. Keep your priorities in check, and don’t let excessive spending take away from what truly matters during this time of year.
Take Action Now
The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our financial habits and make necessary changes to benefit our current and future selves.
Kick Debt to the Curb: Your Path Starts Here!
Don’t let debt dampen your holiday spirit! Let this season of joy mark the start of your journey towards a debt-free life. National Legal Center is here with a guiding hand to pull you out of the avalanche of overwhelming debt. No matter how deep you’re in, there is always time to reach for help.
Our expert team of legal assistants and debt settlement attorneys are just one call away, ready to empower you with practical, effective strategies for debt resolution. Unwrap a brighter future today with National Legal Center. The journey to reclaiming your financial peace starts here.
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