Holiday season is finally here and Americans are ready to spend. A quarter of consumers say they plan to spend more this year than last they did last year, according to Discover's 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey, and millennials are the most eager.
Over a third of millennials expect their spending to go up, reports Discover, which surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. That's compared with 33 percent of those in Gen Z, 26 percent of Gen Xers and just 16 percent of baby boomers.
Across all age groups, the average amount people expect to spend on gifts and necessities is $819, reports Harris Poll and advertising-technology company OpenX. Millennials plan to drop an average of $861.
The reasons shoppers expect to spend more vary: About 40 percent of millennials and 51 percent of those in Gen X . (The U.S. median household income reached a record $61,372 in 2017.) Meanwhile, 38 percent of Gen Xers and 36 of Baby Boomers who say they'll be parting with more money to .
And more consumers will be opting for plastic this year, too. "The number of those who to pay for most of their holiday gifts jumped to 38 percent this year, up from 32 percent in 2017," reports Discover.
That's largely because shoppers are trying to take advantage of cash back and other perks: "Among those who favor credit cards when making holiday purchases, 54 percent say , up from 42 percent last year."
Less than a quarter of respondents to pay for most of their gifts, according to the survey, and 20 percent say they'll .
That's a strategy backed by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who points out that can cost you a lot more than you think in the long run.
"Credit cards are the worst investment that you can make," he told Business Insider in 2014. "The money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by ."
His solution is to use cash when you can. And a study from the Journal of Consumer Research supports that conclusion: Using cash could lead you to curtail your spending because physically handing over your money and watching it disappear feels "," researchers say.
So try withdrawing a predetermined amount of money, and if you want to save.
If you do plan to use plastic, though, look to take advantage of rewards points and .
Many shoppers , in the traditional sense. A whopping 80 percent of tech-savvy Gen Z respondents plan to , according to the survey, compared to 73 percent of millennials, 62 percent of those in Gen X and 41 percent of Baby Boomers.
More than a third of millennials and another 35 percent of those in Gen Z plan to use a wearable device, , or some other payment-enabled appliance to make purchases, compared to 24 percent of Gen Xers and only 8 percent of Baby Boomers.
Similarly, 29 percent of millennials and 27 percent of those in Gen Z plan to use a voice-activated smart speaker, , to assist in their holiday shopping.
If you plan to , be sure to take some steps to by monitoring your financial statements, says Discover, particularly around the holidays. And no matter how you chose to spend, follow to be sure you keep your larger financial goals in mind.
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