Does anyone have $60,000 to spare?
Because that’s the amount of money many Americans say they would need from Santa to pay off all of their debt this holiday season.
It would cost a whopping $58,673 on average to completely wipe out the debt of a consumer today, according to a new survey from Country Financial.
It’s no surprise then, that 70% of people are stressed out about the holiday season being just around the corner. Thirty-two percent of those strained shoppers said that for them, the holidays are the most financially stressful time of year, period.
Twenty one percent of those cash-strapped Americans said that finding the right gifts caused them the most grief, followed by not having enough time to take care of everything this time of year (16%) and family issues (15%). A small percentage of people also cited travel as a cause of money stress (4%), according to the survey.
Despite pronounced financial stresses around the holidays, many Americans avoid tackling the problem. Roughly 4 in 10 do not create holiday budgets, and 72% don’t save money over the course of the year in preparation for their holiday spending, the survey says.
So what's the No.1 gift people want this year? Unsurprisingly, half of Americans said they'd want one of their biggest debts paid off in full. Twenty percent would choose to have their mortgage paid off, followed by credit card debt (13%) and student loan debt (7%). Some Americans are true gift-lovers, however: 19% said they'd rather receive a vacation or a luxury item.
Most Americans seem to be making an effort to stay within their means this year: 63% of survey respondents said they planned to pay for their holiday expenses with some form of cash (like a debit card or from a checking account), while just under a third said they would rely on a credit card.