New Survey Finds Many Consumers Will Spend $500 Or Less On All Holiday Gifts

Millennials use credit for 2017 holiday shopping, but Baby Boomers sticking to debit cards and checking.

Boston, MA – December 27, 2017

How much holiday shoppers plan to spendBudget-conscious consumers are keeping a check on holiday shopping this year – with many spending no more than $500 in total on gifts and other seasonal items, according to a new survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).

The survey found 81 percent of respondents will spend $500 or less on holiday shopping in 2017, compared to 76 percent from a similar poll conducted by ACCC in 2014. Just six percent of those surveyed this year are relying on credit cards for holiday gifts and expenses.

The online poll surveyed 194 consumers on the organization’s website,

“It is easy to feel a financial strain during the holidays, especially if you haven’t set a budget,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling – a national non-profit based in Newton, MA. “The best way to avoid trouble is to go into the holidays with a plan for spending. And we’re finding the majority of budget-conscious consumers that we encounter are doing just that in 2017.”

By comparison, according to a Holiday Retail Survey by, the average American consumer is expected to spend $1,226 during this holiday shopping season. Most of those polled by Deloitte (81 percent) reported that their household financial situation is the same or better than last year.

More than half of consumers surveyed by ACCC reported using either cash, a checking account or debit card for all holiday shopping. Of the small percentage of respondents using all credit, Millennials made up nearly half. Baby Boomers, however, indicated they are trying to avoid piling on new debt – with 54 percent of Boomers using debit cards and checks.

You can view an infographic illustrating the survey results here:

According to the ACCC survey, only 22 percent said holiday shopping put a strain on their finances – and 51 percent said they find it easy to stick to a budget.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling and student loan counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt counseling, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday consumer debt issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for themACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). To participate in this month’s poll, visit and for more financial management resources visit