This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Cost Has 43% of Us Wanting to Skip the Holidays

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What does it say when 43% of Americans want to "skip" the holidays over money woes, as well as 54% of the "underbanked" citing "financial strain"?

The figures come from a survey of 2,082 Americans 18 and older by Harris Interactive for Think Finance, an online financial services firm.

Millions of Americans just don't have enough cash on hand to cover the cost of presents, decorations, food, beverages, parties and holiday travel.

Those costs do add up. According to the American Research Group, the average U.S. household will spend $801 this holiday season, almost double the amount spent in 2009 ($417) in the depths of the Great Recession. Unfortunately, it's money many families just don't have in the bank, or even in the kitchen cookie jar.

Some details from the Think Finance study:

  • 32% of respondents say they "don't have enough money in the bank" to pay for those holiday costs.
  • 36% of Americans (and 50% of the underbanked) say they will cut their holiday presents budget to make the Christmas season "more affordable."
  • 72% of Americans say they will carry debt over into January due to holiday spending.
  • 51% of Americans say their financial institutions don't care about them.

"The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year, but between travel and buying gifts, it's easy to get derailed by expenses," says Ken Rees, chief executive at Think Finance. "It's very difficult to cut back during a season that's all about giving, and many Americans feel obligated to spend into debt."

The study certainly is depressing, but there may be a silver lining among the financial heartache that goes part and parcel with the holidays:

Maybe a smaller, more intimate Christmas season is just want the doctor ordered for Americans in an era of weaker economic growth and lower annual incomes.

Retailers wouldn't like it, and restaurants, airlines and hotels wouldn't be doing handstands either. But Main Street families may appreciate taking a financial breather during the holidays, as strain gives way to sanity for millions of otherwise anxious Americans.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs