TD Bank Survey Finds Holiday Shopping Leads to Anxiety

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Last updated on April 6th, 2023

TD Bank’s 2021 Merry Money Survey reveals how consumers deal with the financial burdens of the holiday season. The annual survey from TD Bank found that Millennials are most likely to tap into emergency savings to pay for holiday expenses. However, both Millennials and Boomers are likely to overspend and impulse purchase during the holidays. Here are the full findings of the 2021 Merry Money Survey from TD Bank:

TD Bank Reveals Findings of 2021 Merry Money Survey

The holiday season is supposed to be the “happiest time of the year.” Still, many Americans find the financial costs of the holidays overwhelming. According to TD Bank’s 2021 Merry Money Survey, more than half of consumers describe the holiday shopping experience as painful, with 33% of respondents likening the pain of holiday shopping to a root canal.

TD Bank polled 1,004 U.S. consumers to measure their shopping, spending, money management habits, and overall sentiment during the holiday season. The survey found that while Americans are increasingly responsible with their holiday spending, with 73% creating a budget – up from 66% in 2018 – 66% of consumers stating that the financial aspect of the holiday season makes them feel anxious.

Other Holiday Shopping Survey Findings

Other noteworthy findings from TD Bank’s 2021 Merry Money Survey include:

  • Millennials have previously overspent: 41% of all surveyed have previously experienced a negative financial situation because of holiday spending
    • Among them, 48% Millennials surveyed agreed, whereas only 30% of Boomers indicated they have previously had this experience
    • In fact, 14% of Millennials plan to spend more than $100 on each of their pets, making sure to include their furry friends in their holiday celebrations. Compared to 1% of Boomers surveyed
  • Boomers and Millennials do have one thing in common: Almost ¼ of both (Millennials 25%, Boomers 24%) say they don’t stick to their budget if they create one for holiday shopping
    • Both Millennials and Boomers also tend to go over budget on impulse purchases made on stocking stuffers, with 50% of Millennials and 66% of Boomers agreeing
    • Similarly, both groups also said they had previously overspent if they’d found the perfect gift that was over budget, with 55% of Millennials and 66% of Boomers surveyed not sticking to their budget for this reason
  • Swiping matters: 42% of Americans cite using a debit card vs. 36% who use a credit card for most of their holiday spending
    • Millennials far outranked boomers in their usage of debit cards, opting out of rewards programs (48% of millennials cited using a debit card, 36% of boomers did the same)
    • Conversely, Boomers preferred credit cards as their primary payment method (46% of those surveyed), with only 28% of millennials using them for holiday shopping

Related Article: The Best Credit Cards for Holiday Entertaining

Featured image by Sarah Pflug/Burst

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About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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