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LendingTree: How high prices are impacting Thanksgiving plans

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Most consumers (60%) say that inflation is impacting their Thanksgiving plans or budget in some way.

That's according to a new survey of more than 2,000 consumers by Lending Tree, which found that potential Thanksgiving hosts expect to spend an average of $361 on food, drink and decor this year.  More than three-quarters (77%) of consumers surveyed are planning to shop around and/or use coupons to lower their spending, while 22% of potential hosts have a strict budget in place. 

In other findings, 56% say they have a rough budget that’ll allow wiggle room, and another 22% say they aren’t limiting Thanksgiving spending. And 24% say the high costs could deter them from hosting again next year

The survey also found that four-in-10 potential hosts (41%) plan to use a credit card to pay for Thanksgiving — the most common response. That percentage increases among six-figure earners (58%) and parents with young children (49%).  Meanwhile, 8% of potential hosts are turning to buy now, pay later (BNPL) options, with parents of children younger than 18 (13%) among the most likely to do so.

Additional findings from the LendingTree survey are below.

•By age group, potential baby boomer hosts (33%) are the most likely to be budget-free this Thanksgiving, while millennials ages 27 to 42 (28%) are the most likely to have a strict budget. 

•Six-figure earners are the most likely income group to not put a budget on Thanksgiving, with 29% reporting so, while those earning less than $35,000 (31%) are the most likely to have a strict budget.

•Most hosts (62%) think their guests will offer money or bring food/beverages to help offset the Thanksgiving expenses. That percentage is highest among Gen Zers (72%), Millennials (69%) and six-figure earners (67%).

 “For many, Thanksgiving is a time for big gatherings centered around lots of great food, and anyone who has thrown one of these get-togethers knows they’re often not cheap,” said LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. “Even with a potluck, there’s still a lot of cost that goes into hosting. Factor in lingering inflation and these costs just grow. That could easily deter people from hosting in the future. Most people live on tight budgets, and these gatherings can make those even tighter.”

The full report can be found here.

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