- Stick to a budget and avoid the holiday hangover -
TORONTO, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Can Canadians' holiday budgets keep up with
their holiday cheer? One-third of Canadians say they buy gifts that
they know they can't afford and more than one-quarter are financing
their expenses with their credit cards or cashing in investments. This
is according to the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey, which examined the
holiday saving and spending habits of Canadians. With a little
planning, if you make a list and check it twice, holiday celebrations
can be a hit without your finances taking one.
"There is a certain 'magic to the season' and it's easy to get carried
away," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada
Trust. "However, it's important to remember that squeezing all holiday
spending into one month can put a lot of pressure on your budget. It's
not about being a Scrooge, but rather avoiding common holiday shopping
mistakes, so you can stay on budget and enjoy what the season is
supposed to be all about - without worrying about the months that
Canadians' "Merry" Missteps
As Canadians begin their holiday shopping, Carrie Russell provides tips
on how to manage three of Canadians' worst holiday spending blunders,
as revealed by the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey:
Twenty-three per cent finance their purchases on credit cards and 4%
cash in investments.
While it may seem like the holidays sneak up on you every year, you
still have time to prepare for them. Even with only a few paycheques
left before the holidays, you should set some money aside to accumulate
a modest holiday fund. Create a list of people you need to shop for
and decide how much you can afford to spend based on the amount you're
hoping to save. If you are putting items on credit, don't expect a
holiday miracle - keep track of your purchases and don't buy more than
you can afford to pay off when the bill comes due.
1 in 10 Canadians admit they've bought gifts that they knew the
recipient wouldn't want.
If you have someone on your shopping list that is "impossible to buy
for" don't waste your hard-earned money on merchandise you don't think
they will like. Instead consider offering an experience, subscription
or membership as a gift.
48% of Canadians pick up something for themselves while they are out
shopping for others.
Holidays are not the time to splurge on something for yourself. Your
budget is probably stretched, which is exactly why it is important to
stick to it.
"Remember those 'impossible to buy for' people on your list? The people
who already have everything they could ever want or need? Don't be one
of them," adds Russell. "If you buy the things that you want when
you're supposed to be shopping for others, it only makes it harder for
others to shop for you."
The Three Holiday Season Stresses
Though Canadians agree holiday shopping is stressful - what makes it so
stressful is up for debate. Canadians are evenly split on what causes
them to fret the most:
One-third (35%) worry about whether they can afford the gifts they want
One-third (34%) worry about whether the recipients will like their gifts
One-third (31%) worry about finding gifts for difficult to shop for
"Set a budget, create a list, and remember that a great gift is not
about how much you spend, but about the thought you put into it," says
Russell. "By doing this we're confident Canadians can reduce some of
the stress of holiday shopping this year. After all, the holidays are
a time to celebrate."
How Much are People Spending?
Of all holidays celebrated during the winter months, Christmas is by far
the most expensive. On average, Canadians celebrating Christmas each
spend $587 on food, gifts and entertaining. Other winter holiday
celebrations dip into Canadians' pockets much less with Canadians
spending on average $180 for Chinese New Year, $139 for Hanukkah, and
$125 for New Year's Eve.
"Holiday costs can really add up," says Russell, "so consider setting
aside the money in advance for next year, with a pre-authorized
transfer service or an automatic savings program. These simple and
free tools can make saving for the holidays easy."
About the Survey
Results for the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey were collected through a
custom online survey conducted by Environics Research. A total of
1,004 completed surveys were collected from October 15 - 20, 2010.
What's your gift giving habit? This quiz can determine if your family
and friends eagerly anticipate your gifts or cringe at the sight. The
quiz is available online at http://vote.pollstream.com/4513
About TD Bank Financial Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as
TD Bank Financial Group (TDBFG or the Bank). TDBFG is the sixth largest
bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million
customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in
key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and
Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth
Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade;
U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most
Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TDBFG
also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms,
with more than 6 million online customers. TDBFG had $603 billion in
assets on July 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the
symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
SOURCE TD Bank Group
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