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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Holiday season overspending rises, but Canadians are paying off these extra expenses – RBC poll

Holiday season overspending rises, but Canadians are paying off these extra expenses – RBC poll

  • Canadians reveal they’re optimistic they can save more
  • Men overspent by larger amounts than women
  • One-third of all overspenders have already paid off their holiday bills

TORONTO, January 30, 2020 - Despite their best intentions, more than one-third (36%) of Canadian shoppers went over budget by an average of $459 during the 2019 holiday season, up from $384 the previous year. Men outpaced women by a large margin ($544 vs. $372) and Canadians aged 34-55 overspent the most ($531), according to the annual RBC Post-Holiday Spending & Saving Insights Poll.

The good news: one-third (32%) have already paid off their extra holiday bills. The remaining over-spenders plan to cover those expenses in a number of ways, including: spending less on day-to-day living expenses (25%) and cutting back on entertainment, lunch and coffee costs (24%).

“Every dollar counts, whether you make a conscious decision to save it or simply not spend it,” says Niranjan Vivekanandan, Vice-President, Term Investments & Savings, RBC. “Skipping little extras can add up in a big way – you don’t have to make huge sacrifices to get your finances on track and build your savings. We’re seeing Canadians adopt healthy financial habits that not only help them pay down bills, but equally important, help them build up their savings for the things that truly matter in their lives.”

Among the biggest regrets Canadians had about this past holiday season: not spending enough time with family and friends (14%), followed by not making a budget and sticking to it (10%) and buying too many gifts (7%). Overspenders also identified four key things they would do differently to prepare for the next holiday season:

  • Set aside savings on a regular basis (37%)
  • Spend less/resist any temptations to spend more than I’ve saved (30%)
  • Create a holiday spending budget (28%)
  • Spend more time finding sales (27%)

When asked how much extra they thought they could save each month without really thinking about it, 30 per cent estimated they could save an additional $64 per month, while 44 per cent responded they had no idea how they might save anything extra. One-quarter (26%) admitted they weren’t saving at all right now. The opportunity for everyone, Vivekanandan points out, depends on whether they will take action to build their savings.

“We all have such good intentions to save more, especially early each new year. Think how many times you’ve said, ‘I’ll make my lunch’ or ‘I won’t buy a coffee today’? Small amounts do add up, and here’s where technology can be a big help,” says Vivekanandan. “Our savings solution – NOMI Find & Save – uses predictive technology to anticipate your overall monthly spending and automatically sets aside money you can spare. And this really works – to date, NOMI Find & Save has helped users save an average of around $200 a month. That’s a lot of coffee!”

RBC SPENDING & SAVING INSIGHTS POLL – Regional & Gender Comparisons

RESPONSES

CAN

BC

AB

 SK/
MB

ON

QC

AC

M

F

ALL RESPONDENTS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, overspent in holiday season

36%

38%

35%

27%

38%

36%

30%

35%

37%

OVERSPENDERS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amount overspent

$459

$470

$384

$387

$435

$538

$432

$544

$372

Overspent, plan to cut back on day-to-day living costs (e.g., cable, phone, groceries)

25%

28%

29%

35%

25%

21%

20%

23%

27%

Overspent, plan to cut back on entertainment, lunches, coffees

24%

24%

25%

30%

21%

27%

30%

20%

28%

Overspent, no idea how to pay these extra costs

7%

2%

11%

9%

9%

7%

6%

6%

9%

Have already paid over-expenditures

32%

41%

16%

28%

33%

31%

41%

32%

32%

ALL RESPONDENTS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estimate they could save this much extra money per month without thinking about it

$64

$74

$95

$49

$56

$70

$34

$87

$42

Have no idea how much extra I could save per month

44%

45%

44%

47%

39%

47%

50%

45%

42%

I’m not saving anything at all per month now

26%

27%

25%

24%

28%

22%

29%

24%

28%

 About the RBC Spending & Saving Insights Poll
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of RBC. A total of 2,000 surveys were completed online among Canadians aged 18+ from January 2 to January 3, 2020 using the Ipsos I-Say Panel. Quota sampling and weighting was employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canadians, according to Census data. The precision of online polls is measured using credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been surveyed. Credibility intervals will be wider for smaller subsets of the population.

About NOMI Find & Save, NOMI Insights and NOMI Budgets
NOMI makes managing your day-to-day spending as simple as can be. Research shows Canadians are setting less and less money aside in savings. With NOMI Find & Save, we’re helping clients save, even when they think they may not be able to. It uses predictive technology to find money clients can spare and automatically sets it aside for them. To date, our clients using this feature have saved on average about $200/month. NOMI Insights helps clients manage their everyday finances through data-driven insights that provide timely and personalized trends, alerts and overviews based on spending and saving habits. Since its launch, we’ve delivered more than 750,000 insights to clients. NOMI Budgetshelps clients by taking the thinking — and the manual calculator work — out of setting up a budget. It takes a close look at a client’s spending and recommends a personalized monthly budget based on their habits. NOMI Budgets focuses on five key categories and keeps the client on track by sending regular updates through the RBC Mobile app’s budget tracker. By simplifying the budgeting process, we’re making it easier for Canadians to manage their spending and make responsible financial decisions. With the introduction of NOMI Budgets this year, we’ve helped more than 430,000 customers set more than 730,000 budgets. Find out more about all these features of NOMI here.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 85,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

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Media contact:
Kathy Bevan RBC Communications, 647-618-2287