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Worried About Travel, Gift Giving, Groceries and Utilities this year? A New H&R Block Study Reveals You’re Not Alone This Holiday Season

5 min read

5 min read

December 07, 2022

H&R Block

The current inflationary economy has affected Americans’ wallets for months and, as the end of the year approaches, the anxiety around finances is increasingly evident. In fact, new research from H&R Block* reveals that with the holidays just around the corner, 69% of employed individuals believe prices will go up even more and say they are “extremely concerned” about inflation and its impact on the remainder of 2022.

Although many are feeling the impacts of inflation, people over the age of 40 (47%), women, single moms, and those with fair to poor credit are most likely to have experienced a worsened financial situation over the last year. And fewer hours of work, no raise in salary, and increased prices due to inflation are primarily to blame.

Survey respondents also pointed to the following as aspects that are top-of-mind as the impacts of inflation are felt:  

  • Travel
    With families and friends often living in different locations, cost is a major consideration for those who want to travel. Due to inflation, nearly one in three Americans say they will not travel during the holidays. And 42% say they’ll alter travel plans by driving instead of flying, traveling shorter distances than usual, or staying shorter amounts of time.

  • Gift Giving
    Perhaps the most recognizable (and exciting) holiday spending moment is gift buying. And, during a normal year, most consumers spend $250-$499 on holiday gifts, according to the survey. Nearly one-fourth of participants—including single moms and people with poor credit—say they will spend less this year. And among those who are employed, 55% reported they will look for sales, while another 30% say they will spend less leading up the holidays to have more money at the end of the year.  
  • Groceries
    Due to inflation, 27% of employed individuals are extremely concerned about buying groceries. This includes a good number of consumers who spend $100-$249 on groceries the week of a holiday, with 23% of respondents indicating they’ll spend less this year.

The survey did reveal optimism among Gen Z and millennial men who say they feel better than most about their finances, with some being ready to increase their spending.

H&R Block Is Here to Help
Consumers may be able to utilize a number of helpful tools during times of financial uncertainty, including:

  • Emerald Advance1 – For the person who needs an immediate boost

    At this time of year, many Americans could use a financial boost. People can apply for the H&R Block Emerald Advance® line of credit through Jan. 7, 2023 and, if approved, could have access to a credit limit up to $1,000 year-round.** There are several convenient options for making minimum monthly payments such as via debit card or check by phone,  using online options like PayNearMe, MoneyGram and Emerald Card®2 or even by mailing a check.  Additionally, though not available for monthly payments, H&R Block tax clients can direct a portion of their refund to pay their line down to zero by Feb. 15, 2023.  

    Applying is easy. Meet with an H&R Block associate at any participating H&R Block office to apply during the promotional period and get a decision within 30 minutes. Learn more about Emerald Advance here.
  • Refund Advance3 – For the person who wants to borrow from his or herself

    There’s an opportunity to kick off the new year with less financial stress. Refund Advance is an interest–free refund anticipation loan that is paid by the client’s tax refund. It is available at participating H&R Block retail offices and virtually with Digital Drop Off tax filing channels. Apply for Refund Advance when filing taxes with H&R Block through Feb. 28, 2023. Refund Advance leaves no impact on credit and, if approved, the funds are available within minutes after your taxes are filed.

    Learn more and apply for Refund Advance.
  • Tax Help – For the Worker Who Needs Assistance with New Tax Laws

    Tax season is quickly approaching. Taxpayers can get every tax credit and deduction they deserve with the help of H&R Block’s tax pros who are up-to-date on today’s tax laws. See H&R Block tips here, or visit a tax pro in-person or online, and remember taxpayers can also complete their taxes at HRBlock.com.  

** Minimum monthly payments apply. Line balance must be paid down to zero by February 15 each year. Year-round access may require an Emerald Savings® account.

1 H&R Block Emerald Advance® line of credit, H&R Block Emerald Savings® and H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® are offered by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC. Cards issued pursuant to license by Mastercard. Emerald Advance℠ is subject to underwriting approval with available credit limits between $350-$1,000. Fees apply. Offered at participating locations. Promotional period 11/12/2022 – 1/7/2023. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. OBTP# B13696 ©2022 HRB Tax Group, Inc.

2 H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® is issued by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Additional fees, terms and conditions apply; consult your Cardholder Agreement for details. ©2022 HRB Tax Group, Inc.

3 Refund Advance is an optional tax refund-related loan from Pathward, N.A.; it is not your tax refund. Loans are offered in amounts of $250, $500, $750, $1,250 or $3,500. Approval and loan amount based on expected refund amount, eligibility criteria, and underwriting. If approved, funds will be loaded on a prepaid card and the loan amount will be deducted from your tax refund, reducing the amount paid directly to you. Tax returns may be e-filed without applying for this loan. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Limited time offer at participating locations. HRB Maine License No. FRA2. OBTP#B13696. ©2022 HRB Tax Group, Inc.

* “2022 Inflation survey” conducted by H&R Block among 1,007 U.S. adults.

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