Attention shoppers – How to spend less, save more

Toronto Jan 5, 2010: Did you vow to give up shopping in 2011 in order to pay off your credit card statements? Well, retailers want you to rethink your plan. They are now trying to entice you back into their stores by offering huge markdowns. If you are a price-driven shopper who loves a bargain, the January sale season could be very hard to resist.

“It is important to focus on changing spending habits and setting financial goals in order to succeed in paying off your debt,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “Canadians should not be digging themselves further into debt and look for ways to resist the urge to splurge on items that are not absolutely necessary.”

Tips on how to change spending habits:

Stay away from the stores and avoid the temptation to buy on impulse
Set realistic financial goals, and don’t stop until they are reached!
Be creative around spending your free time; institute family game nights, enjoy family time at the local community centre
Teach your children the value of money, the difference between needs and wants, and how not to spend more than you can afford – watch how they start to police you!

Financial goal setting may seem onerous; however it can be a powerful learning experience when you involve the whole family. Explain to children what is included in the family budget and how it is used to set savings goals for education and vacations. Encourage children to save their money and feel the sense of accomplishment when they are able to purchase a special item. “Financial literacy needs to start in the home; it’s real life from our greatest role models,” adds Schwartz.

For more information about talking to your children about money and setting financial goals check out a free on-line learning centre at

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