(TORONTO, ON) – Just in case Canadians haven’t spent enough money over the winter holidays, there’s always Boxing Day to help squeeze the last few dollars out of our wallets.
According to a recent BMO holiday shopping survey, 62 per cent of Canadians plan to brave the crowds in order to find great bargains on Boxing Day. However, with household debt to income sitting at a shocking 164.6 per cent, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. cautions Canadians to stop and think before digging themselves deeper into debt this year.
“Consumers easily get sucked into the excitement of discounts and bargain hunting on Boxing Day,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit. “The most important thing to remember is that a bargain isn’t a bargain if you have already exhausted your holiday budget.”
With retailers offering up to 75 per cent off regularly marked prices, it may be difficult for consumers to resist the temptation to buy more than their budgets allow. This is why Consolidated Credit urges consumers to leave their credit cards at home this year.
“The opportunity to impulse shop and exceed any allotted budget can be much greater if you are using credit for your purchases” adds Schwartz. “Avoid the urge to spend by leaving the plastic at home. Or better yet, skip the mall all together.”
For those consumers planning to make the debt defying race to the stores on December 26th, Consolidated Credit offers these Boxing Day tips for smart shopping.
- Plan ahead – Make a list of the items you need to purchase and avoid buying anything that is not on your list BEFORE you venture out
- Budget – Know exactly how much you can afford to spend before hitting any Boxing Day sales.
- Pay with cash – Sticking to cash or debit will help you stay on budget and avoid overspending. Once your cash is gone, it’s time to leave the store.
- Make a payment plan – If you must use your credit card, make sure you have a plan to pay it back in full.
- Coupon – Visit couponing websites before you shop to find even better discounts and bargains.
- Stay home – Instead of getting caught up in the madness of Boxing Day, spend the day enjoying time with family, friends and loved ones. Your budget will thank you in the New Year.
If you’ve experienced difficulties sticking to your holiday spending plan this year and debt has you up against the ropes, don’t wait until 2013 to get your finances in order. The Budgeting Made Easy guide can help you get on the road to a financially healthy New Year.