CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 1, 2011) - For many Americans, this is Back-to-School season, but for nearly all Americans who give gifts during the holidays, this should also be a time to start thinking about saving money now. Unfortunately, according to a new survey commission by TransUnion, nearly one third of Americans go into the holiday shopping season having not saved money for it, which could lead to starting 2012 with a major debt hangover and potentially harming their credit health.
According to an IBOPE Zogby International survey conducted by TransUnion, one in three Americans surveyed (32 percent) does not save in advance of the holiday shopping season. For many, this may mean using current credit cards, opening new lines of credit or taking on extra debt. Excessive inquiries for new lines of credit, higher balances compared to credit limits and large amounts of debt can all be harmful to a consumer's credit health.
"Consumers should plan ahead now by making a list of those they plan to purchase gifts for; determining the total they will need to save between now and the holiday season; and setting a portion aside out of each paycheck," said Heather Battison, senior director of education for TransUnion's consumer products. "That way, when the holidays arrive, consumers can use their saved money, enjoy a more relaxed holiday season -- and enter 2012 without the burden of unmanageable credit card debt."
TransUnion provides the following tips to help consumers save now and spend later during the holiday shopping season:
- Make a List and Check it Twice: Make a list of those individuals that you plan to buy holiday gifts for this year, along with a dollar amount you plan to spend or the item you plan to purchase. Stick to this list when it comes time to buy holiday gifts to avoid overspending.
- Budget and Save: Review your list and calculate how much you plan to spend on holiday gifts this year. Divide that total you plan to spend by the number of paychecks you will receive between now and when the holiday shopping season begins. For example, if you plan to spend $600 on holiday gifts this year and will receive six paychecks between now and Thanksgiving, then you should try to set aside $100 from each paycheck to spend on holiday gifts.
- Shop Now, Gift Later: Regularly check your local advertisements and circulars and if an item you plan to purchase for holiday gifting goes on sale, consider using some of the saved money to purchase it now and save it for the holiday season. By finding the item on sale now, you can save even more money on your holiday shopping.
- Save for Yourself: Remember, not only does saving for the holiday shopping season help alleviate stress, but if possible, you should also save a portion of each paycheck to pay for any unexpected financial crises, such as a health emergencies, etc.
For more ways to stay on top of your finances and tips to smart holiday shopping, follow TransUnion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TransUnion.
IBOPE Zogby International was commissioned by TransUnion to conduct an online survey of 2127 adults in the US.
A sampling of IBOPE Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the US, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. The MOE calculation is for sampling error only.
TransUnion Interactive, Inc is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 23 countries around the world. www.transunion.com Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.