American Workers Are Ready to Deck the Halls, but Won’t Hit the Malls

New survey from Principal shows more people shopping online, giving

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–‘Tis the season for holiday spending. According to the Principal
Financial Well-Being IndexSM
, 32 percent of American
Workers will primarily shop online for holiday gifts, up from 20 percent
last year.

“The shift toward online shopping gives consumers more control, and may
be just the time-saver they need to fit it all in,” said Luke
Vandermillen, vice president at Principal Financial Group®.
“The ability to price shop and compare reviews helps people make smart
financial choices. Whether it’s $5 or $500, saving is always a good

This year, most people (62 percent) plan to spend the same amount on
gifts as 2015, with only 14 percent planning to spend more than last
year. While only around half (51 percent) plan to set a budget, most of
those individuals (82 percent) say they’re likely to stick to it.

“For most families, it’s a good idea to set a holiday budget, or things
can get out of hand quickly,” added Vandermillen. “At the risk of being
cliché, it really does help to make a list and check it twice. Then you
can think about how much you want to spend on everyone.”

Even with saving time shopping online, many Americans are stressed this
holiday season. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) feel holiday expenditures
will put some level of stress on their personal financial situation. On
top of that, the majority are trying to watch their weight this holiday
season. Fifty-three percent (up from 45 percent last year) are planning
to exercise regularly, and 48 percent (up from 41 percent last year) are
planning to eat healthy this holiday season.

On a jollier note, more plan to give back this holiday season, with 75
percent planning to donate money or volunteer their time, up from 68
percent last year.

Top budget blunders of 2016

Americans are reporting fewer overarching financial shortfalls, but they
did still break the bank in a few areas. Only 15 percent of people said
not saving enough was their biggest financial blunder of the year, down
from 20 percent in 2015. There was a slight uptick in those saying that
taking on more debt was their top financial blunder (10 percent) or that
budgeting properly was their top problem area (8 percent).

Americans are still blowing their budget dining out. A quarter said that
was a top budget buster for 2016, followed by food and groceries (20
percent) and travel (20 percent).

Resolving to do better financially

More people are planning to make financial resolutions this year (73
percent vs. 68 percent in 2015). The top resolutions are:

1. Put a set amount of money into savings each month

2. Pay off credit card debt

3. Reduce spending by a specific amount each month

4. Defer more into my defined contribution plan

5. Stop using my credit cards

“If setting goals is the first step, then taking action is the next,”
added Vandermillen. “We know that a lot of well-intentioned New Year’s
resolutions can quickly fall off the wagon. So write it down. Do a quick
assessment of where you are with your finances. Take those great
intentions and turn them into great success.”

About the Principal Financial Well-Being Index
The Principal
Financial Well-Being Index: American workers surveyed 1,117 adults aged
18 and over nationwide who work at companies with 10 to 1,000 American
workers. The Index is part of a series of quarterly studies commissioned
by the
Principal Knowledge Center
examining the financial well-being of
American workers and business owners. The survey was conducted online by
Harris Poll® from October 21-28, 2016. The first Principal
Financial Well-Being IndexSM survey was conducted in the
United States in 2000.

About Principal®
helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance
their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset
management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate
about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their
goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life
solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit
us at

Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are
trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a
member of the Principal Financial Group.


Principal Financial Group
Media Contacts:
Gebert, 515-246-4942