Credit cards.
Union Bank surveyed 1,000 Americans, including 301 San Diego County residents, on credit cards. Photo via Pixabay

Roughly three in 10 San Diego residents expect to spend six months paying off credit card debt racked up during the holidays, according to a study released Monday by Union Bank.

The bank surveyed 1,000 Americans, including 301 San Diego County residents, for the study, which found debt to be central to many Americans’ holiday spending plans and concerns.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents in San Diego expressed concern about overspending, while 20% of local respondents said to have their credit card debt paid off would be their dream gift to receive.

The study found that 65% of Americans and 61% of San Diego residents will give themselves a budget for their holiday shopping, but 47% of San Diego residents feel pressured to buy gifts for people they otherwise wouldn’t and 31% spend more than they should on gifts in an effort to impress friends and family members.

“Having a realistic budget and planning ahead are the best ways to control holiday spending,” said Union Bank partner Tonya Rapley. “Start with creating a budget that works with your holiday plans and wallet. … Also, the earlier you start, the more you can shop around for sales and special deals.”

About 90% of Americans in Generation Z are concerned about overspending on gifts, the most among all generations. Gen Z respondents were also the most willing to go into debt to purchase someone’s dream gift and the most willing to do so for their parents.

A total of 64% of Gen Z respondents would go into debt for their parents’ gifts, while only 36% of millennials, 23% of Gen X respondents and 5% of Baby Boomers were willing to do so. One-fifth of Gen Z respondents in the U.S. were also planning to spend more than $250 on a gift for their mother.

“We find that people feel pressure to overspend and may make poor financial decisions at this time of year, the repercussions of which can linger for months into the new year,” said Pierre Habis, Union Bank’s head of consumer banking. “But if we can use the holidays as an opportunity to talk about money, we can learn and adopt better financial habits that will help us all year long.”

— City News Service