'Tis the season to spend: majority of Canadians set a holiday budget but many
don't stick to it

TD Canada Trust offers saving strategies for holiday shoppers

TD Canada Trust survey reveals that:

    
    -  Men more carefree about holiday spending than women
    -  Young adults plan on spending less on gifts this year compared to
       their parents
    

TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - The good news? The majority of Canadians set a budget for their holiday spending. The bad news? Only 1 in 5 stick to it. With nearly 70% of Canadians purchasing gifts for 6 or more family members or friends, going over the holiday budget, even by a little, can really add up. This is according to the TD Canada Trust Holiday Shopping Survey which examines the spending and saving habits of Canadians.

"Thirty-two percent of Canadians say they spend between 10% and 50% more than they budgeted for during the holidays," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, Core Banking and Payments, TD Canada Trust. "Imagine if you spent an extra 20 or 30 % on each gift - it could make a real dent in your savings. Although an extra $5 on someone you had budgeted only $25 for doesn't seem like a lot at the time, if you spent 25% over your entire budget this could add up to $100 or more quite easily. To avoid that pain, it's important to take the time to set a realistic budget for the holidays - and stick to it."

WHO'S CHECKING THEIR LIST TWICE?

Men might want to think about what they buy since they are more carefree with their holiday spending, with 40% saying they spend what they want and never set a budget, compared to 28% of women.

Holiday budgeting habits also vary from coast to coast. British Columbians and Atlantic Canadians are the least likely to set a budget, with 45% and 51% respectively spending whatever they want and never setting a budget. Residents of Quebec and Ontario however are very budget conscious with 30% and 21% respectively always setting a budget and sticking to it.

'TIS THE SEASON TO GIVE WHAT YOU CAN

37% of respondents plan on spending less on holiday gifts this year than they did last year and 44% plan to spend about the same.

Young adults (18 to 34) plan on spending less this year on holiday gifts than they did last year (41%) compared to 34% of those over 55. One way that young adults will save money is to make more homemade gifts this year (17%). Fifty-two percent of Canadians over 55 plan to spend about the same as last year on holiday gifts versus 39% of young adults and 40% of those 35-54.

"It's not surprising that as Canada emerges from the recession, only 6% of Canadians say they will spend more than last year," says Russell. "The reality is that many across Canada will need to spend less this year, so our advice is to remember you can give time as well - we're all guilty of forgetting the real meaning of the season and getting caught up in the spending madness."

Russell has these tips for Canadians looking for alternatives to the usual spending habits:

    
    -  Start a gift-exchange with your family members. Instead of buying for
       everyone, assign just one person in your family to buy a gift for one
       other family member and set a limit on what everybody can spend.

    -  Give time not money. Baby-sitting, dog-walking, car washes, garage
       cleaning. Make a coupon book of some tasks you can help with and take
       on some of your family members chores.

    -  Do-it-yourself: Make a personalized gift such as a scrap book or a
       slide show of your favourite holiday photos.
    

These tips could be especially beneficial for Atlantic Canadians, with 53% saying that they have more than 10 people on their shopping list. Respondents in Quebec have the shortest lists, with 43% buying gifts for less than 5 people. People in B.C. are most likely to feel like they don't spend enough on gifts and think they may be seen as a Scrooge! (12%).

Additional survey highlights:

    
    -  Atlantic Canadians are most likely to make more homemade gifts this
       year to spend less (18%).

    -  Albertans are most likely to give gifts to a smaller list of people
       than last year to save money (22%).

    -  People in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are most likely to plan on
       spending less money on holiday gifts this year than last year (49%).
    

ABOUT THE TD CANADA TRUST HOLIDAY SHOPPING SURVEY

The TD Canada Trust Holiday Shopping Survey polled adult Canadians from across the country to gather insights and perceptions about holiday shopping habits. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion from November 24 to 26, 2009 with English and French speaking Canadians. The sample size includes 1,000 men and women.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group 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. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$557 billion in assets on October 31, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Karen McCullough, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca, kmccullough@paradigmpr.ca; Erin Baldwin, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-4061, erin.baldwin@td.com


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