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Nearly seven in 10 US adults would give up gift-giving for the holidays

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Almost seven in ten U.S. adults say they would skip exchanging gifts for the holiday season if their family and friends agreed to do so, according to a recent poll.

Sixty percent said they would spend more time with family and friends if they did not have to worry about gifts in The Harris Poll released Nov. 8.

Forty-seven percent say they would invest or save their money If they did not have to purchase gifts.

Thirty-seven percent said they would pay down their debt instead, while 25 percent said they would use the funds on activities with family and friends.

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The survey – which was conducted on behalf of SunTrust Banks, Inc. – additionally found that financial anxiety is troubling many U.S. adults this year.

Forty-three percent of those who spend money on anything related to the holidays said they feel pressured to spend more than they can afford.

“The holidays are full of joy, celebration and an unmentioned pressure to spend,” said Brian Nelson Ford, a financial well-being executive at SunTrust.

“During a time of year when financial stress is traditionally high, a little smart spending, preparation and planning can lead to financial confidence and enhance the joy of the season.”

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The survey’s results about financial anxiety during the holidays are similar to past findings on the issue by The Harris Poll.

Forty-six percent felt pressured to spend more money than they could afford in 2016, while 49 percent gave that answer in 2015 and 42 percent in 2014.

The Harris Poll conducted its latest survey of 2,185 U.S. adults via online interviews from Oct. 3-5.

The poll’s results included 1,986 U.S. adults who spent money on something specifically related to the holidays.

The survey was not based on a probability sample, meaning that a margin of error for the sample cannot be calculated.

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