Stepping up spending on gifts and other holiday items
TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - With the holiday season on the horizon,
82 per cent of Alberta consumers say they plan on giving gifts to family and friends and are ramping up the amount they intend to
spend, according to an RBC survey.
Albertans are expecting to spend an average of $703 on gifts this year, an increase from their 2010
spending intentions of $662. They also intend to spend more on other holiday items (such as entertainment, decorations and clothing) - an
estimated $736 compared to last year's $621.
"If you have a budget in mind when you head off to do your holiday
shopping, you will help ensure you're only spending what you can
afford," advised Maria Contreras, product manager, Savings Accounts,
RBC. "Whether you've used cash, your debit card, or your credit card
and paid off the balance in full, it's a great feeling to start off the
new year with all your holiday bills completely paid."
To finance their holiday spending, many Albertans prefer to do their
gift-buying with money they already have in hand, including cash (54 per cent) and debit cards (29 per cent) among their top three options for financing their holiday purchases. Credit cards (36 per cent) round out the top three. In addition, there has been a
big drop in the percentage of Alberta consumers who haven't thought
about how they will cover their holiday expenses - falling to 12 per
cent from 21 per cent in 2010.
In 2010, almost one-third (31 per cent) of Albertans overspent their
holiday budget, spending an average of $507 more than intended. To help
pay their post-holiday season bills, overspenders opted to cut back on
entertainment and day-to-day living expenses, credit card use and
Online budgeting and savings resources available on websites such as www.rbc.com/savingsspot can be of great assistance to help keep holiday spending plans under
control, added Contreras. She also offered basic spending tips below.
Six Savings Tips for the Holidays and Year-Round
Curb your impulses. Count to 30 before impulse buying in a store, or wait 24 hours before
making an online shopping decision.
Pay yourself first. Make your savings plan part of your bill paying routine, just like
cable, utilities and mortgage payments.
Track your expenses. Make a list of all your expenditures over three months to see where
there are opportunities to turn spending into saving.
Keep a separate savings account. Set up an account dedicated to savings; in this way, your savings won't
get mixed in with your day-to-day cash.
Set a target date for your savings goal. Having a deadline can help you decide how much to put away and how
Visualize your savings goal. Are you saving for a vacation? A big screen TV? Keep a photo of your
dream on hand, to inspire you to continue saving.
About RBC's savings and other financial advice and interactive tools
Canadians can access www.rbc.com/savingsspot for free savings advice and resources. In addition, all personal RBC online banking clients can use myFinanceTracker, a no-cost interactive financial management tool, to create a set
budget and track their spending habits. Whether Canadians want to get
more from their day-to-day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or
take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions. Interactive tools and calculators
provide customized information covering many facets of personal
finance. In addition, online advice videos are updated regularly to
reflect current trends and to answer the questions that are top of mind
with Canadians. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are available to
chat live, Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional
advice about RBC products and services and personalized one-on-one
service at www.rbcadvicecentre.com.
About the RBC survey
As part of Canada's most comprehensive consumer attitudes poll, this
survey was conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer
Panel to 3,054 Canadians (453 British Columbia, 454 Alberta, 458
Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 705 Ontario, 516 Quebec, 467 Atlantic Canada).
Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the
sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to
Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample
universe. Data collection was September 26 to October 3, 2011. A survey
with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent
response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±1.65
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have
been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
For further information:
Craig Christie, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-8820, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-2727, email@example.com