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Half of Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend Less This Year as Americans Brace for Economic Challenges

1 in 4 parents with kids under 18 are expecting to go into debt while shopping this holiday season

Amid concerns over inflation and a potential recession, just over half (51%) of shoppers in the U.S. plan to spend less this holiday season compared to last year, according to SurveyMonkey research from Momentive.

Ahead of the holiday season, more than 3,000 U.S. adults were surveyed to better understand how Americans are planning to change their holiday spending habits this year, if at all. With continued economic turbulence and supply chain delays, many reported planning on cutting back spending compared to years prior. In fact, consumers planning to spend less money this holiday season said the rising cost of food (64%), energy (49%), and housing (39%) are to blame. In addition, the majority of U.S. adults (68%) stated that they are very concerned about inflation, with 23% being somewhat concerned.

While some shoppers plan on cutting back costs, others are fully prepared to go into debt this year. Almost a quarter (24%) of parents with children under 18 years old expect to go into debt this holiday season; their top shopping categories are clothing, toys & games, home goods, and technology. Parents specifically are more likely than those without children under 18 to use “buy now, pay later” options (38% vs. 26%).

Overall, the majority of U.S. adults are very or somewhat worried about being able to purchase the items they want for the upcoming holiday season (66%). Whether their concern is due to supply chain issues (55%) or inflation (91%) – or both – there is no doubt that holiday shopping in the United States will be impacted this year, and retailers are going to see the effects. 17% of consumers do not plan on holiday shopping at all this year, an increase from 14% in 2021. Additionally, fewer people who plan to holiday shop have started earlier this year in October (17% compared with 22% in 2021), with many waiting to start between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and early December (27% compared with 21% in 2021) instead.

“It’s make-or-break time for many retailers and Americans are feeling the squeeze of rising costs,” says Jon Cohen, chief research officer at Momentive. “Between sky-high inflation, fears of a potential recession, and soaring housing costs, it’s no wonder shoppers are feeling cautious and many are holding their wallets more closely this holiday season. It's also a grim reality that some holiday shoppers are considering taking on even more debt to buy gifts.”

Methodology: This study was conducted between October 5-12, 2022 among a national sample of 3,183 US adults 18+. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on our platform each day. The modelled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Data were weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States.

About Momentive

Momentive (NASDAQ: MNTV), maker of SurveyMonkey, collects and analyzes human sentiment at scale. Momentive products, including SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, and Momentive brand and market insights solutions, equip ​decision-makers at 345,000 organizations worldwide with the insights they need to make decisions with speed and confidence. Millions of users rely on Momentive to fuel market insights, brand insights, employee experience, customer experience, and product experience. Ultimately, the company’s vision is to broaden the world’s perspective to shape the future of business. Learn more at


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