TORONTO, November 10, 2010 With the holiday season nearing, Canadians are planning to temper their spending with almost one-third (31 per cent) saying they will spend less on holiday expenses this year, according to a recent RBC survey. Furthermore, more than half (55 per cent) plan to keep their holiday spending flat and almost one-in-five (18 per cent) say they are not in a position to give gifts at all this year.
While most Canadians intend to give gifts this holiday season (82 per cent), they are planning to spend almost $100 less this year with an average of $624, compared to an average of $728 in 2009. In total, Canadians expect to spend approximately $1,137 on the holidays including gifts, decorations, entertaining and travel. This is approximately seven per cent less in total than last year, when Canadians also reported they would be cutting their holiday budgets.
"Canadians are clearly keeping an eye on household spending and taking a cautious approach when it comes to holiday purchases, but there are ways to get into the spirit of the season without breaking your budget," said Karen Leggett, senior vice-president, RBC Cards and Payment Solutions. "Setting a realistic spending limit well in advance and monitoring your purchases as you go can help ensure you don't end up with unmanageable bills at the start of the New Year."
The majority of Canadians (63 per cent) plan to fund their holiday cheer with savings and one-in-five (21 per cent) plan to use credit cards; however, 20 per cent say they are not sure how they will pay for the season.
The RBC survey also found that a third of time-crunched gift givers (35 per cent) plan to do some of their holiday shopping online this year.
"Whether you want the hustle and bustle of the in-store experience or are looking to save time by shopping online, using a credit card for purchases offers both convenience and protection. This is also a great way to keep track of expenses and take advantage of card rewards programs even if you use your savings to pay the balance by the due date," added Leggett.
RBC offers the following tips for holiday spending to help ensure that you stick to your holiday budget while enjoying the spirit of the season:
Whether Canadians want to borrow with confidence, get more
from their everyday banking, protect what's important, save
and invest or take care of their businesses, the RBC
Advice Centre www.rbcadvicecentre.com can help answer
their questions. Advice videos are updated regularly to reflect
current trends and to answer the questions that are top of
mind with Canadians. Interactive tools and calculators provide
customized information covering many facets of personal finance.
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have access, at no cost, to myFinance
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About the RBC survey
The RBC survey was conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 3,160 Canadians (423 British Columbia, 299 Alberta, 219 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 1,194 Ontario, 775 Quebec, 249 Atlantic Canada). Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. Data collection was October 4-11, 2010. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
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Kathy Bevan, RBC, (416) 974-2727
Jacqui van der Jagt, RBC, (416) 974-1756