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More than half of Americans to make shopping plan this holiday season

Dec 03, 2011 Philip Burgess

Consumers may tighten their credit decisions this holiday shopping season, as recent research points to an increasingly frugal consumer base that plans to adhere to a strict spending plan this year. According to the results of a survey released this week by Northwestern Mutual, 52 percent of U.S. consumers will create a spending plan for their gift buying this season, and they intend to stick to those plans. Seventeen percent of respondents reported they do not plan create a shopping budget or strategy and will make their purchases as they see fit. Another recent survey by Burst Media found more than half of surveyed shoppers - 54 percent - plan to primarily use debit cards, cash and checks this season. Both reports suggest Americans' unwillingness to use their credit cards and incur further debt. "It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season and lose sight of the impact that overspending can have on your long term financial security," said Rebekah Barsch, vice president at Northwestern. "Starting the New Year with a mountain of debt can be debilitating. Taking a few steps to outline a plan for what you want to spend now, can allow you to fully participate in the giving season without it being at your own expense."