November 15th, 2021
SPRINGFIELD, Mass – Nov. 16, 2021 – As the holidays quickly approach, Americans are more optimistic about their financial outlook and are planning to increase their holiday spending compared to last year, according to new research from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).
Nearly three-quarters (73%) are optimistic about their finances and over one-third are “very optimistic” (35%), up from the percentage who reported being very optimistic in July (27%) and February (21%).
In another sign of consumer positivity, among those who plan to increase their spending this season, 42% expect to spend at least $500 more this holiday season than last, and one-quarter expect to spend at least $1,000 more. On average, Americans plan to spend $1,243 on holiday-related purchases this season.
“We’re encouraged by the enthusiasm and confidence around the upcoming holiday season – a reflection of a better consumer outlook on the economy and personal finances after a period of uncertainty,” said Mike Fanning, head of MassMutual US. "Careful planning and spending, as well as how you pay for purchases, is key to help ensure an enjoyable holiday season and new year. Especially this year, the earlier the better, as options may be limited.”
The Index also finds that as Americans continue to navigate stress associated with the pandemic, Millennials lead the way on uncovering new income streams to increase financial security.
The survey also examined younger generations and found that nearly 90% of Gen Zers indicated their financial situation changed during the pandemic. One-quarter report that the pandemic led to them feeling less financially confident (26%) and independent (20%). However, one-third (33%) also saved more compared to the start of the pandemic.
“A silver lining of the pandemic has been a reprioritization for many people on where they choose to invest their time, energy and money, with some likely wishing they had done this sooner. As with many things in life, the earlier you start, the more options become available to you. This holds true with gift giving, trip and event planning, your overall and financial health, and many other things in life. Start as early as you can. Your future self will thank you for it,” concluded Fanning.
The MassMutual Consumer Spending & Saving Index tracks financial outlooks and behaviors in a changing economic environment. It offers an in-depth snapshot of people’s saving and spending behaviors and examines outlooks and attitudes being tapped to navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic and the changing state of the economy. Commissioned by MassMutual, the research was conducted online by PSB from October 18-22, 2021 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+. PSB additionally conducted an oversample of 500 adults statewide in Massachusetts and a separate oversample of 500 Gen Z 18- to 24-year-olds nationwide.
Links to prior indexes:
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.