Canadians' biggest source of holiday stress: money

Survey for President's Choice Financial® shows budgeting anxiety tops the list of stressors, but 46% likely to use loyalty points to cut costs

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Budgeting tops the list of causes for Canadians' stress during the holiday season, and a surprising number of people plan to use loyalty points as a money-saving solution, according to a Leger survey conducted for PC Financial®.

According to the survey, 41.3 per cent of respondents list budget as their top source of holiday stress, followed closely by choosing gifts (41 per cent), time management (31 per cent), paying post-holiday bills (29 per cent) and watching calorie consumption (25 per cent). A small number (four per cent) suffer from so much stress that they "hate the holidays."

With budgeting and paying bills causing such anxiety, a surprising 46 per cent plan to cash in their points from various loyalty programs to stretch their holiday dollars (20 per cent "definitely" and 26 per cent "probably"). Among those who will use their points during the holidays, 48 per cent will use them to buy gifts, while 37 per cent of those people will opt for gift cards.

However, since 81 per cent of respondents report collecting loyalty points, many may be missing out on this possible money-saving solution.

"While most of us love the holidays, our bank accounts take a hit during this time," said Barry Columb, President of President's Choice Bank. "PC Financial's no-fee bank account and PC Financial MasterCard help our customers give more joy and experience less stress on their wallets. Customers can redeem their PC points in Loblaw banner supermarkets for virtually anything in store."

Customers can redeem their PC® points for holiday gifts, such as gift cards or even a prepaid mobile phone, in addition to everything you need for holiday entertaining and meals. "Using my PC points for holiday purchases is my secret to bringing less stress and more joy to the holiday season," said author and TV personality Kathy Buckworth, Chief Family Advisor for President's Choice Financial® and a mother of four.

The survey also delved into what gives Canadians the most joy over the holidays and found that family topped the list, with 65 per cent stating that family time was their greatest holiday pleasure. Other holiday pleasures include enjoying food and drink (54 per cent), taking time off (45 per cent) and entertaining/attending holiday parties (30 per cent).

Canadians' views vary significantly by region:

  • Atlantic Canadians (57 per cent) and Ontarians (54 per cent) are more likely to consider using their loyalty reward points for holiday-related purchases compared to the rest of Canada (38 per cent)
  • Canadians in Ontario (46 per cent), the Prairies (46 per cent), and Alberta (47 per cent) are more likely to enjoy holiday traditions than those in British Columbia (34 per cent)
  • Atlantic Canadians are more stressed about paying the bills after the holidays (42 per cent) compared to Ontarians (29 per cent), Albertans (23 per cent) and those from British Columbia (29 per cent)

About the survey
The President's Choice Financial® survey was completed online using Leger's online panel, Leger Web, with a representative sample of 1,515 Canadians between November 4 and November 7, 2013. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About President's Choice Financial
President's Choice Financial® services are a unique financial service offering designed by Loblaw Companies Limited. The President's Choice Financial® MasterCard® is provided by President's Choice Bank, while banking services are provided by the direct banking division of CIBC.  For more information visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter @pcfinancial  and YouTube.

About Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L)
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 134,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points and PC Plus™ loyalty program.

SOURCE: President's Choice Financial

For further information:

or to schedule an interview: 

Debra Chan
President's Choice Financial
416-204-2600, ext. 411029
647-309-3925 (mobile)


Irene Poon
Argyle Communications
416.968.7311 Ex. 246

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