NEW YORK (MainStreet) – The holiday season got off to a bang over Thanksgiving weekend, with Black Friday sales rising 7% over last year and Cyber Monday sales up 22%. But not everyone is getting into the buying spirit.
A survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found a whopping 40% of Americans will not be spending any money for the holiday season on account of financial difficulties. That's up 6 percentage points from a similar question posed by the group last year.
There were 1,232 respondents to the poll, which was posted on the NFCC's Web site, DebtAdvice.org. Given that the site provides credit counseling services, it's probable that the survey respondents are more likely to have financial issues than the average American, so take that 40% figure with a grain of salt.
It's notable that a rising number of Americans are choosing not to join the hordes of shoppers in spending for the holiday season. While many retailers certainly took the early returns as a sign of good things to come, some analysts have suggested that retailers could see a big drop-off in the coming weeks. If these numbers are to be believed, those retailers may indeed have cause for concern.
For shoppers though, this could mean some deep last-minute discounts right before Christmas.
Are you one of the many Americans who have chosen to refrain from gifting this holiday season? If so, here are some tactful ways to explain your decision to family and friends.