RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--’Tis the season to be jolly — until the bills arrive. For half of the country, the holiday shopping and excess spending further compound an existing issue. Research from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) shows that only one in three Americans says they always pay their credit card balance in full.1
“For those with credit card debt, holiday spending can create a domino effect across their finances,” said Jamie Ohl, executive vice president, president of Retirement Plan Services for Lincoln Financial Group. “As a result, consumers’ priorities may shift away from saving for retirement and other positive financial behaviors in order to focus on paying down balances.”
For that reason, Lincoln Financial recommends three tips that can take consumers off the “naughty” list to help lower their chances of accruing credit card debt, particularly over the holiday season, and create a stronger financial future.
Plan ahead: Set a holiday budget and stick to it. Consumers who are future-focused — demonstrated by activities like envisioning retirement, setting financial goals, creating financial plans and saving for emergencies — are more likely to have better financial outcomes overall. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that those who plan ahead when doing holiday shopping are less likely to take on credit card debt. U.S. adults who have credit card debt are more likely to shop the last two weeks of December, while those who do not are more likely to have already started their holiday shopping or not do any holiday shopping at all.2
Save financial gifts. Balancing the need to save with the desire to spend becomes even more difficult during the holiday season. Adults with credit card debt are more likely to say they have difficulty controlling spending, self-identifying as “spendthrifts.”3 Receiving a gift of money, whether it is for the holidays, birthdays or other occasion, is an opportunity to work toward financial priorities like paying down debt, boosting retirement contributions or adding to personal savings — yet 74% of U.S. adults with credit card debt say they usually spend money when they receive it as a gift instead of saving it.4
- Pay yourself first. Sixty two percent of retirement plan participants who currently have credit card debt say they are saving less than they would like for retirement as a result of their credit card debt.5 Compound interest causes their debt to grow higher, making it even more difficult to get on track financially. For consumers who choose to save their money in a retirement account, the power of compound interest works in their favor, growing their savings and making it easier to stay on track financially. Tap into calculators to help make your planning easier and prioritize paying yourself before splurging on gifts.
“Accumulating credit card debt can have a long-term impact on your finances, one that lasts well beyond the holiday season,” said Ohl. “Consider making a financial New Year’s resolution to meet with an advisor, who can work with you to create a plan that can help you achieve your financial goals.”
For more information on how to make your holiday season more (financially) merry and bright, please visit www.lincolnfinancial.com for tools and resources.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $261 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2019. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, Lincoln was recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Large Employers, Best Employers for Diversity, and Best Employers for Women. Lincoln also earned perfect 100 percent scores on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com/.
1 Lincoln Financial Group 2018 Love and Responsibility Survey
2 CivicScience: data gathered from 01/01/2019 to 10/17/2019, with a sample of 28,810 respondents, ages 18+
3 CivicScience: data gathered from 01/01/2019 to 10/17/2019, with a sample of 28,810 respondents, ages 18+
4 CivicScience: data gathered from 01/01/2019 to 10/17/2019, with a sample of 28,810 respondents, ages 18+
5 Lincoln Financial Group 2019 Retirement Power® Participant Study