Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poll: Georgians Cautious with Spending This Holiday Season

/PRNewswire/ -- Georgians are planning to spend money carefully this holiday season, and overwhelmingly, they don't want to rack up enormous credit card bills in the process, according to a new poll from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).

The Georgia Credit Unions' Holiday Spending Poll of 1,000 credit union members from across the state revealed that 52 percent plan to spend less than they did last year, while 45 percent plan to spend the same as last year and only 3 percent plan to spend more. Concurrently, 76 percent of Georgians polled plan to pay for all or most of their purchases with cash, and only 12 percent are planning to use a credit card to make their purchases, the poll showed.

These results mirror the findings from another recent GCUA poll that found 46 percent of Georgians are spending less overall now compared to one year ago, with an additional 41 percent spending the same as they did a year ago. Only 13 percent are spending more overall now than at this time last year.

"Clearly, Georgians are concerned about their financial well-being, so they are looking to spend money more vigilantly now than in previous years," said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. "It's one thing to spend money, but it's another to spend money wisely. While Georgians will still spend money to enjoy the holiday season, they're not going to take on more debt to do it; instead, they are looking at their finances with an eye toward the future."

Of those polled, 59 percent plan to spend less than $500 on gifts this holiday season, while 31 percent plan to spend between $500 and $1,000. Meanwhile, a small pocket - 10 percent - plan to spend more than $1,000. Additional details and charts of the poll results are available at www.georgiacreditunions.org.

Credit unions throughout Georgia this year are marking the 100th anniversary of cooperative financial institutions in the U.S., and the 75th anniversary of the Georgia Credit Union League. Last month, credit unions in Georgia celebrated "A Century of Good Advice," which included the release of a poll on the savings and spending habits of Georgia consumers and the debut of a short online video.

The poll results and video are available at www.georgiacreditunions.org.

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