Pass the…cash? Over half of Gen Z and Millennials say they're financially stressed by Thanksgiving

Nearly as many plan to ask guests to help cover costs of this year's feast

1-in-4 Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving as inflation hits the holidays, according to Personal Capital research

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Oct. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --  Americans are preparing for a costlier holiday season as inflation continues to rise at historic rates. A new survey by Personal Capital reveals that 1-in-4 Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving this year to save money, and 42% plan to ask guests to contribute cash to help cover costs.1

While the majority of Americans (68%) said they still plan to celebrate the holiday, they are also experiencing anxiety over the soaring expenses associated with the occasion. More than half of Gen Z (54%) and Millennials (51%) say they are financially stressed by Thanksgiving this year, slightly above the general population (45%) who also feel the burn. Nearly all respondents said they will be keeping gatherings small, making fewer dishes, or asking guests to bring something to the table to keep costs down.

Additional Personal Capital research shows that 75% of Americans fear a recession within the next two years, and Gen Z predicts it will land by the end of 2022 - right in time for holidays."As people feel the squeeze of rising prices, many Americans are cutting back their spending, and prioritizing what is most important to them this Thanksgiving," says Paul Deer, a Certified Financial Planner® at Personal Capital. "A clear budget can help set the table for a happy holiday season, and long-term."

Americans are still finding ways to celebrate, even if it means breaking with tradition. The survey reveals several ways people are adjusting their budgets and celebrations this year2:

  • Cutting back: More than half of Americans plan to have smaller gatherings this Thanksgiving.
  • Friends unite: Americans who lost their jobs this year (55%) were more likely than those who didn't (38%) to celebrate Friendsgiving.
  • Pizza party: One-third of those celebrating Friendsgiving will be opting for pizza over turkey as the main course.
  • Travel is not on the menu: As travel costs skyrocket, 28% of respondents said they will not be traveling for the holiday.
  • Rough year for veggies: 88% of Americans are cutting at least one dish from their table this year to save money. Brussel sprouts, squash and carrots were among the most likely to be cut, while mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing still made the list. 

"If you're concerned about the impact of rising inflation on your finances, you're certainly not alone," adds Deer. "One of the first steps is to have a full view of your financial picture, which is easy to do by setting up a free account on the Personal Capital Dashboard. You'll be able to see where you can make cuts in your budget and identify strategies that may mitigate the impact of inflation on your portfolio long-term."

Tracking expenses is one way to stay on top of holiday spending. The free Personal Capital dashboard is a financial management tool that offers users a complete view of their finances and helps them create a budget that works best for them in any season. Visit to learn more.


For this campaign, we surveyed 1,000 Americans to explore their plans for Thanksgiving this year. Among them, 56% were men, and 44% were women. The generational breakdown was 25% Gen Z, 36% millennials, 26% Gen X, and 13% baby boomers.

Personal Capital commissioned a Fractl survey of 1,002 Americans about their financial habits and how they're preparing for a recession. 16% of respondents were Generation Z, 48% were Millennials, 25% Generation X, and 11% were Baby Boomers. The survey was conducted in May, 2022..

The content contained in this release is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation ("PCAC"). Advisory services are offered for a fee by PCAC, a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. You may lose money. The information contained herein is being provided for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. All visuals are illustrative only. PCAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation ("PCC"), an Empower company. PCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Empower Holdings, LLC. © 2022 Personal Capital Corporation. All rights reserved.

About Personal Capital, an Empower Company

Personal Capital is a remote-delivery, industry-leading digital wealth management company that helps people transform their financial lives through technology and advisory services. The company's state-of-the-art tools and technology provides consumers with a holistic financial picture and are used by over 2.9 million people to track $1.2 trillion in account assets (as of 4/30/21). Its wealth management advisors provide expert guidance, and customized strategies, based on a personal understanding of an investor's financial picture and goals. For more information, please visit or connect on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.