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Here's how Americans of every age are planning to spend their money on holiday gifts this year

Consumers expect to spend less holiday shopping during the pandemic compared to last year.

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Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

With the holiday season shaping up to be an unusual one, more and more Americans are feeling a strain on their wallets as 2020 comes to an end.

In fact, amidst the ongoing pandemic, almost half of consumers (48%) are planning to spend less on holiday shopping this year compared to last year, according to a recent Ondot Systems and SurveyMonkey holiday shopping survey of over 1,000 Americans.

Given today's economic uncertainty, the poll found that consumers are concerned about their financial situations and are putting a bigger focus on saving this holiday season. One fourth of survey respondents reported being behind on their credit card payments, and the risk of missing payments is even greater should they take on more expenses.

According to the survey's findings, 30- to 44-year old consumers plan on reducing their spending the most this year, followed closely behind by 45- to 60-year-olds and 18- to 29 year-olds. Still, over a third (35%) of consumers above 60 years old will reduce their spending.

Here's how different age groups replied about how much they expect to spend compared to last year's holiday season.

Ondot SurveyMonkey 2020 Holiday Spending Poll

Age Group Reduce holiday spending this year Increase holiday spending this year No change in holiday spending this year Eliminate holiday spending this year
18 to 29 years old44%19%33%5%
30 to 44 years old47%14%35%5%
45 to 60 years old45%16%33%5%
Over 60 years old35%15%45%4%

How to spend wisely during your holiday shopping

Whether you are cutting back slightly on your holiday expenses this year — or you feel obligated to spend more to spread much-needed holiday cheer like two in three adults reportedly do — use the right cards to do so.

The best cards for holiday shopping can save you money on popular purchases like electronics and clothing, and some even offer rewards to help offset the costs of groceries and takeout that add up over the holidays.

If you are looking for more ways to fund your holiday gifts this year, you can also consider cards that offer cardholders payment flexibility.

Buy now, pay later installment plans like Amex 'Pay It® Plan It®,' My Chase Plan® and Citi Flex Pay let cardholders pay off their purchases over time in fixed, equal monthly payments. Plans vary, but some waive interest for a fixed monthly fee and others charge a fixed APR. While we always recommend paying your card balances in full, these are payment options that may help you during the holiday stretch as you can better predict what your payments will be.

Set up a regular monthly payment: Cardholders of the American Express® Green Card, American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express can take advantage of payment options like Pay It Plan It and Pay Over Time. Terms apply.

Just remember that ultimately, you are in control of your finances: Just be sure you are not spending above your means and that you plan on having the cash to pay it back.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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