Despite feeling stressed about finances this holiday season, many Americans are not taking steps to budget in advance. According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of Americans and Illinoisans report not setting holiday budgets. In addition, 72 percent of Americans (75 percent of Illinoisans) are not setting aside money for holiday expenses throughout the year.
However, one in two Americans and three out of five Illinoisans say they feel significantly happier when they plan and budget for their holiday spending in advance.
When asked what would be at the top of their holiday wish list if money were no object, 49 percent of Americans and 55 percent of Illinoisans selected having one of their debts, such as their mortgage, credit card debt, personal loan debt, or student loan debt completely paid off, compared to 19 percent of Americans (17 percent of Illinoisans) who selected receiving a vacation or luxury item.
Charitable gifts and funds for an emergency account were at the bottom of America’s wish list at 6 percent and 5 percent (6 percent and 4 percent for Illinoisans), respectively.
Those who put paying off a mortgage at the top of their wish list said they would need $82,895 ($81,058 in Illinois) in order to be able pay off all of their various debts; those who chose credit card debt said they would need $41,159 ($37,619 in Illinois); those who said student loans, $50,914 ($59,117 in Illinois); and those who replied all other personal loans, $16,992 ($37,359 in…