One in four Canadians feel helpless trying to control their holiday spending

But generosity supersedes money worries for a majority

WINNIPEG, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - One in four Canadians (23 per cent) say whether they set a budget or not, they feel helpless when trying to control their spending during the holidays and two-thirds (68 per cent) of this group admit that this reflects how they handle their finances throughout the rest of the year.

A recent survey from Investors Group reveals that the joy of giving during the holiday season is often accompanied by challenges in keeping spending under control.

Feeling good about giving

Six-in-ten Canadians (62 per cent) say they are not concerned with overspending during the holidays because it feels good to give gifts and three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians say they enjoy the holidays and are not worried about the cost. On the other hand, 31 per cent are concerned by their excessiveness and 18 per cent say they don't enjoy the holiday season because of their worry over the financial outlay.

"The holiday season presents us with a chance to show our love and appreciation to friends and family and treat ourselves as well," says Todd Sigurdson, financial planning expert at Investors Group. "Unfortunately, this generosity coupled with the demands of the season can leave Canadians feeling overwhelmed and somewhat helpless. Having a plan for your holiday spending and being alert for ways to save even a little are good ways to start to regain a sense of control at this busy time of year."

Setting boundaries

Thirty per cent of Canadians say they set a holiday spending budget and stick to it, however, another 15 per cent of those who set a budget say they have a habit of spending more. Meanwhile, 40 per cent of Canadians say they control their spending by limiting their purchases to what they can pay for in cash.

The size of the credit card bill comes as a surprise to 17 per cent of holiday shoppers with those aged 25 to 34 being most likely to be surprised at the final tally.

"Setting boundaries during a time of year when financial demands are high is a good idea," Sigurdson says. "However, budgeting and spending within your means should be something that is celebrated year round."

Across the country Canadians look for ways to save

Two out of three (66 per cent)  Canadians surveyed say they shop in advance to limit last minute splurging, with women being the real advanced planners at 69 per cent compared to 63 per cent of men who shop ahead of time.

Twenty per cent of respondents surveyed said they purchase gently-used or second hand holiday gifts during the season and 17 per cent admit to re-gifting to cut down on costs. Forty-four per cent save some of their gift-giving and shopping for after the holidays to take advantage of sales.

Ways to save Atlantic Quebec Ontario Saskatchewan/
Manitoba
Alberta B.C.  
Re-gifting 22% 12% 16% 19% 20% 25%
Second hand gifting 17% 32% 13% 21% 6% 26%
Post-holiday gifting 52% 45% 44% 53% 36% 40%

When it comes to spending on items other than gifts, more than one third (36 per cent) say they tend to budget for gifts, but forget to budget for miscellaneous holiday spending on things such as: food, drink, entertainment and travel.

About the Survey Methodology

Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 1,030 completes were collected nationally between November 14 and November 18, 2013. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Investors Group

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with approximately $131 billion in total assets under management as of November 30, 2013. 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: Investors Group Inc.

For further information:

Ron Arnst 
Investors Group 
(204) 956-3364 
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com

Lisa Bodnar or McKenna Wild
Environics Communications
416-969-2831/ 416-969-2774
lbodnar@environicspr.com/mwild@environicspr.com
For more media information, please see: Investors Group's Media Room, follow @Investors_Group on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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