3 in 10 Americans would put buying the latest tech ahead of paying bills

With Apple having unveiled its latest product range this week, a new report reveals how some Americans may put buying the iPhone 15 ahead of their bills.

LendingTree’s research found that while most people said it’s important to have the latest tech, for 3 in 10 it’s so vital that they will prioritize it over other financial obligations including paying bills or even their rent.

More than a quarter of America’s tech addicts said they go into debt to purchase the latest tech products, at an average of $1,492. Phones (69%), computers (41%), and smartwatches (27%) lead the overspending.

Younger respondents were most likely to say they would put tech ahead of bills – 45% of millennials and 38% of Gen Zs confessed they would do this.


Meanwhile, a report from Gartner paints a more cautious picture of U.S. consumer spending.

Asked about their spending this holiday season, just 9% said they will spend more than they did last year with almost two thirds sticking to their 2022 budget and 28% will be cutting back.

While this might be good news for tight household budgets, it is bad news for America’s retailers.

“This is concerning given that consumer spending during the 2022 holiday season did not meet industry projections,” said Kassi Socha, director analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. “Annual growth was attributed to higher prices on the part of retailers combating inflation, not an increase in consumer discretionary spending.”

The report also reveals a growing trend for spreading the cost of gift buying over a longer period.

This year, 19% of consumers will begin holiday shopping in October, 29% will start in November, and only 10% will wait to begin shopping until December.

For 16%, gift buying is a year-round thing and Gartner predicts this trend will continue to grow so that by 2026, almost a third of consumers will do this.

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