Guess The Leading Cause Of Financial Stress

The holidays are coming, so get ready to deck the halls, bake all the things, and brave the crowds for the dreaded holiday shopping. I'm probably not alone in feeling that this time of year is the one time I literally detest shopping. From the masses of people, to deciding what to buy, to watching my bank account drain — it's the least fun you'll ever have in a mall, and RetailMeNot has some holiday shopping statistics that prove just how chaotic it all is. But the bright side? The average cost of a gift is going down this year. Celebrate!

The average American will spend $141 per holiday gift this year, according to RetailMeNot's findings, but before you freak out over that expense and start doing mental math in your head, that's actually down from the $196 we spent per gift last year. Silver linings, I guess. But what's even more shocking? Gifts aren't the only place we're spending all our money (gasp), Americans also average $248 on holiday decorations. When I hear those kind of numbers, all I can think is "Pinterest DIY's here I come!"

Stressing about the cost of it all now? You aren't alone. Apparently, 64 percent of consumers admit holiday gifts are their biggest financial stress, even above travel and parties.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Cheers to a merry and bright holiday season filled with stress and empty bank accounts? Just kidding, because there are plenty of inexpensive holiday gifts you can make if you don't want to spend the average $141 per gift, like these holiday food gifts (the best present is a full stomach....) and secret santa ideas. And if getting crafty isn't your thing, there's always Black Friday sales...

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