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Q3 State of Personal Finance Study by Ramsey Solutions Reveals the Impact of Inflation on Projected Holiday Spending

NOVEMBER 12, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As Americans head into the holiday season, they are met with an inflation rate of 6.2%, up five percentage points from one year ago. Ramsey Solutions’ Q3 State of Personal Finance study reveals that one in five Americans’ day-to-day finances are being significantly impacted by inflation; however, 25% of Americans are planning to spend more this holiday season than they did last year.

Those with consumer debt (28%) were more than twice as likely to say inflation has had a significant impact on their day-to-day finances compared to those who are consumer debt-free (13%). Despite the impact of the economic climate, consumers are anticipating spending $641 on Christmas alone, and over half of them (56%) will turn to credit cards to do this.

“In a time when inflation is forcing Americans to stretch every dollar, many are tempted to take on unnecessary consumer debt,” said Rachel Cruze, personal finance expert and Ramsey Personality. “Going into debt is never the answer. The key to winning with money is establishing a budget and sticking to it, no matter what’s going on around you.”

This holiday season, technology is at the top of the wish list, as 52% of consumers plan to spend on things like computers, phones and tablets. Forty-eight percent (48%) plan to buy clothing, 36% will look for deals on toys, 27% say they’ll buy appliances, and 23% plan to buy furniture. Millennials are planning to shop for upgrades for their homes this holiday season.

Other key findings:

  • Six in 10 consumers don’t believe Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are exclusive.
  • 42% of shoppers end up buying more than intended during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • 37% say they regret purchases they’ve made on Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the past.
  • One in four online shoppers have used buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps like Affirm or Klarna in the last three months.
  • 74% of those using BNPL services in the last three months have missed a payment.
  • In the last three months, 30% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials have used BNPL services.
  • 88% of Gen Z and 78% of millennials have missed payments in their BNPL payment plan.

Read the full study at

About the Study

The State of Personal Finance study is a quarterly research study conducted by Ramsey Solutions with 1,004 U.S. adults to gain an understanding of the personal finance behaviors and attitudes of Americans. The nationally representative sample was fielded Sept. 29, 2021, to Wednesday Oct. 6, 2021, using a third-party research panel.

About Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions is committed to empowering people in the areas of money, business, leadership and personal development using Biblically based, commonsense principles and education. Every day, Ramsey Solutions reaches millions with nationally syndicated radio shows and columns, No. 1 national bestselling books, products and courses, and industry-renowned podcasts and video channels. Ramsey Solutions’ world-class speakers and authors give inspiration, practical advice and hope to audiences across the country. Ramsey Solutions and its team of more than 1,000 are dedicated to doing work that matters. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Megan McConnell