TORONTO, ONTARIO, December 7, 2016 – The holidays are the perfect time to spread some holiday cheer by opening up your wallet in the spirit of giving. It is easy to overspend during the holidays and the temptation to give a little extra to just about anyone – can be hard on your wallet.
This year Canadians are expected to head to the mall and online in droves trying to find gifts for everyone on their list. If you’re not too careful about your holiday budget, you can easily spend hundreds of dollars in a few hours.
“Although it is a good time of year for many Canadians, it can add a lot of stress and worry if you’re ill-prepared for your holiday shopping,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“This season take a step back and set a realistic holiday budget for all of your purchases or if you have a unique talent; share this as your gift this year,” says Schwartz.
Sharing your talent or shrinking your holiday shopping list this year may be a good idea if you are trying to be nice instead of naughty to your holiday budget. Last year Canadians spent $1607 on average for their holiday purchases according to BMO’s 2015 Holiday Outlook. Findings from the survey discovered most of Santa’s little helpers live in Atlantic Canada and the more frugal givers live in Quebec:
|Purchases||Atlantic Canada||Quebec||Ontario||Manitoba and Saskatchewan||Alberta||BC||Average|
The love most Canadians have for their holiday shopping doesn’t stop there. In 2014, Canadians spent almost $500 million dollars on holiday candy and snacks in December ($460.8 million) – the highest month for candy and snack sales according to Statistics Canada. The average monthly sales for candy and snacks prior to December was $305.3 million.
To help consumers have a nice and not naughty holiday budget, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers the following tips to keep consumer spending from going off-side:
Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of everyone you hope to buy gifts for. A few days after creating your list, give it another look and determine if you can eliminate anyone from the list.
Create a budget and DON’T add to it!
Now you know who you have to buy for, set a dollar amount to each name and stick to it.
Cash rules everything
One way to stay on top of your budget is to pay cash or debit for everything. Shopping with cash on hand or debit, will make it harder to spend beyond your means – once the cash is done; leave the store.
Let’s talk about safe plastic
If you have to use your credit card, create a plan to pay it off within 30 to 60 days. If you take longer to pay off your credit card debt, your holiday purchases will end up costing you more in interest and fees.
Learn from the past
Did you rack up piles of holiday debt on your credit card and you suffered from a major debt hangover in January? Now is the time to learn from last year and don’t repeat your past mistakes. Get a head start by reviewing your credit card bills or bank statements from the last holiday season to see where you overspent.
For additional holiday tips to keep your budget off of the naughty list; Consolidated Credit has an easy-to-follow Holiday Survival Guide. Our guide has additional ways to budget and save this giving holiday season.
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager,
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.,
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]