Holiday Shopping Survey Reveals The Truth About Couples And Budgets

Thursday, December 20th, 2018
Updated: December 20th, 2018
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Money may not be able to buy love—but it can certainly interfere with it. It’s no secret that finances and budgeting are two of the biggest things couples fight about. And during the holidays, when tensions run high anyway, spats about money can turn into full-blown arguments, the effects of which can linger long after the decorations have been put away and the gifts forgotten.

A recent survey by rewards and loyalty program company Swagbucks revealed that men and women have very different ideas about what constitutes responsible spending at the holidays, and who is in charge of making decisions about that spending.

Seventy percent of women said they are the ones who set the holiday budget for their household, while 49 percent of men felt they were the chief decision maker when it comes to budgeting. Similarly, 85 percent of women said they do the lion’s share of holiday shopping, while 46 percent of men said they do more shopping than their partners. Only 12 percent of women and 30 percent of men said they split the shopping equally.

Tis the season for getting into debt

Regardless of who is in charge of the budgeting, 63 percent of those surveyed said they go into debt over the holidays. Only 37 percent reported that they do not accrue any debt when shopping during the holiday season.

Those who do rack up debt mostly keep it to $500 or less; 38 percent of all those surveyed say their post-holiday debt load will be under $500. Seventeen percent expect to owe $500 to $1,000, seven percent estimate they’ll go into debt to the tune of between $1,000 and $2,000, and just one percent say they’ll go more than $2,000 in debt during the holidays.

Cash or credit?

Many people miss out on the opportunity to use a credit card with rewards points when doing their holiday shopping. Folks who have a solid credit score can get a credit card for good credit that gives them travel perks such as frequent flyer miles or hotel loyalty points, other types of rewards, or cash back. Still, 72 percent of couples said they prefer to use cash or a debit card when doing holiday shopping.

Even though cash or debit may be their preference, 44 percent of survey respondents said they would use two different credit cards to pay for holiday purchases. That means at least some couples are taking advantage of the rewards of using a credit card for good credit. That’s one thing men and women should be able to agree on.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

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