Retailers are eager to see how much consumers are willing to spend this year, given that confidence about personal finances is near levels preceding the Great Recession.

A Bankrate.com survey could dampen that holiday spirit somewhat since four in ten Americans say their top priority remains paying off existing bills.

Two-thirds say they have to limit overall spending because their wages have been stagnant for a while or because they're trying to save for the future in the event there's another economic turnout.

According to experts, Americans do feel more secure in their jobs but they're nervous about taking risks and believe that they haven't been able to save enough.