Canadians are spending less this Christmas: Poll

2015-12-26 Square One Boxing Day - Nicky Roche
Boxing Day deals drew thousands of shoppers to Square One on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. (Photo: Nicky Roche/QEW South Post)

BY KELLY ROCHE

Canadians are shopping like Scrooge this Christmas, according to a new CIBC poll.
The average amount they’re willing to drop in 2016 is $597 — an 8 per cent drop compared to $652 last year.
Still, 51 per cent of people polled said they’re expecting to go over budget.
“The danger comes from what’s not wrapped – the entertaining, travelling, or even tempting Boxing Day sales and New Year’s festivities,” said CIBC Imperial Service vice-president David Nicholson.
“If we’re not careful, these unplanned expenses can derail even the most mindful budgeters and lead to tighter finances, stress and even regret when the bills come due.”
Atlantic Canada has the country’s top gift-buyers, spending $803, according to the poll, while Ontarians and Quebecers cut their holiday shopping budgets by 12 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Millennials are taking a savage approach to saving, cutting spending by 14 per cent to about $400 on average.
One in five millennials are anticipating ‘a little guilt’ or ‘pain’ when they see their credit card bills; 18 per cent say they can’t remember the last time their balance was zero.

 Everyone is susceptible to overspending at Christmas, regardless of age or income, the poll finds.
“While most Canadians use their credit card responsibly, it’s very easy to get swept up by the holiday spirit and carried away with spending,” said Nicholson.
“The best way to stay cheerful is to spend within your means.”
CIBC’s financial tips include tracking your money, asking for help, and entertaining at home.
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