The #1 stress creator during the holidays is debt.
American households have a substantial amount of credit card debt.
Of the estimated 46.7% of households that carry a balance, the average debt is a whopping $15,328 as of September 2012.
What does this mean? Credit card debt is holding fairly steady – but whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate. On the one hand, higher consumer spending puts the economy on a positive track. Higher spending leads to more jobs and higher incomes, which in turn lead to higher spending. However, if wages and employment are improving at a sluggish pace, this might well be an indication that families are borrowing to make ends meet rather than a reflection of a well-founded increase in consumer confidence.