More than 40% of parents have foregone holiday gifts to spend more on their children

Forty-six percent of parents have gone without gifts for themselves or partner in order to afford more gifts for their children.  

A new study of 2,000 parents examined the spending habits and concerns that surround the festive gift-giving season. 

Nearly six in ten (59 percent) admitted they're most likely to overspend on their kids when it comes to shopping for presents.  

A large part of that pressure seems to be coming from the playground since 71 percent of parents said they worry about their kids going back to school and hearing what other children received over the holiday break.  

The study commissioned by Self and conducted by OnePoll revealed 61 percent would willingly damage their credit score in order to make other people happy with their purchases.  

All that credit card swiping causes massive amounts of stress since 39 percent admit to being "extremely concerned" about their holiday spends.  

Seventy-one percent will be tossing and turning due to lack of sleep as they fret over their holiday bottom-line.  

The average respondent will overspend by $541.79 and take 4.3 months to pay off.  

All that overspending catches up since 48 percent said they'll be cutting back after the holidays so they can pay off those big purchases.  

James Garvey, CEO of Self said, "Around the holidays there's a lot of pressure to please everyone - your friends, partner, family, kids, whoever - and be extra generous. Unfortunately, people often equate generosity with spending a lot of money. That can leave you in a tight financial spot for months to come if you don't prepare for it ahead of time." 


Even the best budgeters can be struck by sticker shock at the end of the merry season. Fifty-three percent admitted to underestimating how much they'd be spending on food for their big family dinners.  

Forty-eight percent thought they'd keep their gift shopping under control, but wound up overspending.  

Other frequently underestimated spends included entertainment (43 percent), decorations (41 percent), and clothing (38 percent).  

Respondents revealed their tricks to help keep their holiday budget under control. A third (33 percent) will take on extra shifts at work while 31 percent will start a second or part time job.  

Nearly half (49 percent) plan on purchasing gifts months in advance to spread out their spending.  

Forty-five percent are buying items on sale or clearance to snag stellar deals while 40 percent clip coupons.  

"The best way to avoid overspending on the holidays is to start saving in advance. But if you've passed that point for this year, consider other ways to be generous," Garvey added. "One way to cut down on spending is to draw names from a hat and have each person give just one gift, rather than buying separate presents for everyone. Or offer to host and provide food as your gift, but not extra presents. A little creativity might be just as well appreciated and keep you from adding to your debt."