As shoppers face their holiday spending hangover, buyer’s remorse grows

Households across Arizona are having buyer's remorse as nearly 50% of them still have debt stemming from the 2022 holiday season.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:44 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - If you’re still trying to pay off the presents you stacked under the Christmas tree, you’re not alone. Almost half of holiday shoppers are still digging out from holiday debt, and more people are experiencing buyer’s remorse than in years past.

According to a new MoneyGeek survey, the average person spent $1,288 on holiday-related expenses in 2022, up 14% from 2021. 23% say they wish they’d spent less. “When we originally went into the survey, we thought maybe there’s a possibility that people could be tightening their belts a little bit with inflation, but that did not happen,” said MoneyGeek’s Melody Kasulis. “We saw consumers pile on 14% more debt from 2021 and a little bit more regret from their spending as well, so it’s almost like consumers knew that they shouldn’t, but they did anyway.”

The survey also revealed 44% of shoppers were still chipping away at holiday debt as of February when the survey was conducted. That’s up 4% from 2021. Although the vast majority of consumers used credit cards for holiday purchases, 18% of shoppers used the buy now, pay later financing option for holiday purchases.

“If you’re purchasing a few items through those methods you could be having a few buy now, pay later payments to make each month, and that can quickly rack up,” Kasulis said. “The holidays don’t exactly sneak up on us, right? We kind of know exactly when they’re going to happen and when we’re going to need to make some purchases, so getting ahead on some holiday planning and some shopping can be a really great way to reduce those last-minute spends that we make.”