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More Than Half of Americans Have No Holiday Debt [AUDIO]

A majority of Americans used cash, gift cards or credit cards on holiday gifts this year, but many paid off their debt in an effort to enter 2014 without a holiday hangover, according to a new survey by RetailMeNot.com.

Credit Cards
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

The survey found that 59 percent of Americans did not carry holiday debt into the new year, but 15 percent carried over $500 or more and 10 percent still owe $1,000 or more.

“Parents carried over almost twice as much debt compared to those without children,” said Trae Bodge, senior editor at RetailMeNot.com.

Despite carrying over more debt, the survey found that parents are making an effort to be more fiscally responsible. Nearly eight in 10 parents, or 77 percent, used cash to pay for their gifts as opposed to 59 percent of those without children. Meanwhile, seven in 10 parents used debit cards compared to 49 percent of non-parents.

As for spending this year, Bodge expects people will spend the same or more than last year particularly online.

“I think we will continue to see that tip toward online shopping and we aren’t experiencing that battle between brick and mortar stores and online that we were seeing in 2012 where there was a big concern about people using stores as showrooms and then shopping online,” Bodge said. “People are being given the opportunity to shop in any way they want. I think the merchants who will do the best this year will be the ones who offer that seamless shopping experience so the consumer can do their shopping online and go into the store to pick it up and vice versa.”

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