Debt-Saddled Consumers Embracing Even More “Doom Spending”

Shiff Gold | Jan. 13, 2024

In a disturbing (but unsurprising) trend, more than 1 out of 4 US consumers are throwing in the towel with defeatist “Doom Spending” sprees — despite already being saddled with crippling levels of debt. This behavior is akin to someone who, feeling overwhelmed, indulges excessively in a habit they know isn’t beneficial. In a similar vein, these Americans, perhaps feeling a sense of despair, are accumulating unprecedented levels of new debt through spending sprees that are beyond their financial means.

In fact, the average household owed a staggering, unsustainable $103,358 last year, with Q2 consumer debt totaling $16.84 trillion nationally according to Experian.

The result is a deeper and more terminal state of consumer financial decline than ever, but don’t tell that to National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay. He was unsurprisingly delighted to find a record number of shoppers turned out for Black Friday deals in 2023 despite ballooning consumer debt and broader economic and political uncertainty.


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