TD Canada Trust provides tips to help Canadians plan, prioritize and
avoid holiday money regrets
TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - For many Canadians the holiday season can
mean an abundance of festive fare, gifts and activities, and a constant
temptation to overindulge, including financially. According to recent
research by TD Canada Trust, 57% of Canadians say they overindulge
financially during the holidays and are most likely to overspend on
gifts (71%) and entertainment (52%). Like following a recipe for an
important meal, there is a quick and easy 'financial' recipe for
Canadians to follow to avoid overindulging during the holiday season.
"The only tried-and-true approach to avoiding financial overindulgence
during the holidays is to plan early and make a budget before the
season gets into full swing," said Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President,
TD Canada Trust. "It's like the calm before the storm - you can be more
objective about your budget when you're not in the midst of the
shopping frenzy, and with time on your side you can be strategic about
Research found Canadians are looking to keep spending in check by taking
advantage of sales, deals and discounts (85%), tracking spending (70%),
shopping early (65%), sticking to a shopping list (64%), researching
the best prices online (64%) and following a budget (58%).
"Many people start off the season with great intentions, but without a
plan it is easy to fall into the procrastination trap, which can lead
to overindulging and holiday stress," said Eileen Chadnick, certified
coach and principal of Big Cheese Coaching. "Just as you should take a
disciplined approach to managing your holiday budget, do the same for
your holiday tasks and social calendar. Take a look at upcoming work
and personal commitments and prioritize. It's a myth that you have to
do it all during the holiday season and it's important to take time to
get the sleep and exercise you need to feel energized."
With the festive season quickly approaching, Chun and Chadnick provide
tips to minimize stress and avoid overindulging during the holidays.
Create a plan and start budgeting now
"Start by reviewing last year's debit and credit card statements to get
a realistic idea of spending habits and, based on current finances, set
a firm budget for this year's holiday spending, and break down the
budget into specific categories, from gifts and decor to entertainment
and travel, to make it easier to manage" said Chun. "Once your budget
is set, divide that figure by the number of weeks until the holidays to
determine how much to save each week to avoid post-holiday debt."
For example, with five weeks to go, saving $120 a week will build a
holiday fund of $600. To help save, set up automatic weekly transfers
from a chequing account into a savings account.
To help manage the budget, track all your holiday purchases on a credit
card and then use your holiday savings to pay off the balance," said
Shop early and track spending
The majority of Canadians say they spend less overall when they shop
early (79%) and feel less stressed when they finish shopping before the
holiday rush (83%).
"Shopping earlier in the season provides time to comparison shop and
find the best deals online, and it lets you take advantage of seasonal
sales and promotions that pop up, ultimately saving you money," said
Chun. "You can also look at redeeming credit card rewards to buy gifts
in order to save even more."
Once shopping is underway, it's important to track spending in each
category by keeping all your receipts and recording your tally as you
"When you're about halfway through your shopping, do a budget check-in
to make sure you're still on track," said Chun. "If you've spent more
than you had planned in one category, that's the time to reduce budget
in other areas in order to make sure you don't exceed budget overall."
Watch for potential budget breakers and stay focused
"The holiday season can be hectic, and when we're tired and stressed our
impulse control is compromised, which can lead to poor decision-making
and indulgences we may later regret," said Chadnick. "To avoid
post-holiday remorse, it's important to set boundaries in advance - for
example, make sticking to your original gift-giving list easier by
writing it out. With a little advance planning, you can manage the
additional temptations that come with the holiday rush."
The research found 62% of Canadians who overindulge financially say it
causes them stress and 42% say they routinely suffer from a "holiday
hangover" when their credit card bills arrive in January.
"The impact of impulse spending can be felt long after the presents are
unwrapped, and credit card debt can cost hundreds of dollars in
interest if there isn't a plan to pay it off when the statement comes
due," said Chun. "That's why it's so important to plan ahead, make a
budget and save weekly until the holidays: you'll be able to ensure
there's enough money to pay off your holiday expenses."
About the TD Canada Trust 2013 Holiday Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online custom survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 years and
older. Responses were collected between October 22 and 28, 2013.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5
million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services
from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and
business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as
well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes
banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through
24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over
1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For
more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the
sixth largest bank in North America.
Image with caption: "The holiday season holds many tempting opportunities to indulge - financially or otherwise - and trying to navigate them on the fly can be stressful. Looking for helpful tips to stay on track? Planning ahead and starting early is a great place to start. (CNW Group/TD Canada Trust)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131125_C4318_PHOTO_EN_33772.jpg
SOURCE: TD Canada Trust
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