Cash/debit was the top payment choice
Three in ten Canadians also cashed in rewards points to help offset
TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadians didn't
overspend this past holiday season, keeping debt down while celebrating
with family and friends, according to the RBC 2015 Post-Holiday
Spending Poll. Sixty five per cent said they didn't spend more than
they intended. Their spending control motivators:
Not wanting to go into or increase their debt (35 per cent);
Being diligent about tracking their spending by making a budget and
sticking to it (34 per cent);
Knowing how much they had to spend and once the money was gone, "that
was it" (24 per cent).
"Canadians took their budgets to heart over the holidays and kept their
spending in check - a great gift to themselves," noted Maria Contreras,
senior manager, Savings Accounts, RBC. "For the majority who didn't
overspend, sticking to a budget proved to be a real plus. Consumers saw
the benefits of planning ahead and creating a realistic budget that
worked for them; they also looked to their rewards points to help keep
costs down over the holidays."
Cash/debit was the most popular choice of payment for 69 per cent of
shoppers. Forty-seven per cent of Canadians used credit cards for their
Rewards programs were also used to fund holiday purchases, as three in ten shoppers used their rewards points for merchandise (44
per cent), groceries (42 per cent) and gift cards (40 per cent). In
addition to making redemptions, rewards program participants also
looked for bonus offers to maximize their points collection (59 per cent), consolidated their purchases on one rewards credit card
(42 per cent) and only shopped at retailers where they could collect
points (40 per cent).
Meanwhile, the 35 per cent of shoppers who did overspend during the
holidays are planning to take action to get their finances back on track, including:
Dialing back their entertainment expenses (39 per cent);
Reducing day to day expenses, such as groceries, phone and cable (37 per
Using their credit cards less (30 per cent);
Cutting back on lunch and coffee money (30 per cent)
Interestingly, when Canadians were asked the same question in the RBC
2013 Post-Holiday Poll, Canadians chose to pare back their day-to-day
expenses first (43 per cent) over entertainment (41 per cent).
"Planning ahead and adapting your budget to fit your holiday spending
ideas can help take a lot of the stress out of the holiday season,"
added Contreras. "Start early by putting money aside every week or
month automatically into a savings account. If you're a rewards points
collector, check out the ways you can earn and use your points to help
manage your holiday spending."
RBC offers these tips for those who want a head start getting ready for
their 2015 holiday spending:
Revisit and revise your current budget. Whether you stayed under budget or went over a bit during the holidays,
take the time to review your budget. See where you spent your money
this past holiday season and where you would like to spend your money
for the next holiday season. Look for ways to cut out small costs and
save more money.
Start saving up for the holidays early. Yes, the holidays seem far away now, but with a bit of planning you can
get ahead of the game. Start by setting aside money each week or with
every payday. That way by the time the holidays arrive, you'll be
prepared and will know how much you can spend.
Consolidate your spending on your rewards credit card to earn points. From groceries to utility bills, charge monthly and day-to-day expenses
to your card to earn points and then pay off your credit card balance
every month. Sign up for your reward program e-mail so that you're
aware of promotions that will allow you to earn more points, which you
can then redeem for merchandise or gift cards, or use to pay down your
holiday credit card balance.
Redeem your rewards points for gifts. From merchandise to financial rewards to gift cards, plan ahead and use
your rewards points for gifts.
Other regional highlights from the RBC 2015 Post-Holiday Spending Poll:
Consumers in Ontario (37 per cent), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (36 per cent)
and Quebec (36 per cent) were the most likely to stick to their holiday
budgets because they didn't want to go into debt or increase their
Albertans were most likely to cut back on their entertainment to get
their spending back on track (45 per cent).
Thirty seven per cent of British Columbians were the most likely to keep
their holiday spending in check by tracking their spending and sticking
to their budget (37 per cent). They also primarily used cash/debit to
fund their holiday expenses in the highest numbers (74 per cent).
Atlantic Canadians were the top maximizers of rewards points collection
this past holiday season - 75 per cent looked for bonus offers and 49
per cent only shopped at retailers where they could collect points
Shoppers from Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Alberta maximized their points
collection by putting all of their holiday purchases on one rewards
credit card (47 per cent).
About RBC 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 and track their budget, savings
goals and 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 at www.rbcadvicecentre.com.
About RBC Rewards
As one of Canada's premier providers of loyalty programs, RBC has the
reward options that helps clients get the most from their points. From
using points to pay down their credit card balances with Payback with
Points to exciting merchandise, travel and gift cards redemptions,
Canadians have flexibility and choice in how they use their points. For
more information, please see www.rbcrewards.com.
About the RBC 2015 Post Holiday Spending Poll
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between January
15-20, 2015. A sample of 2,006 Canadians was interviewed from the Ipsos
I-Say panel. Quota sampling and weighting was employed to ensure the
sample's composition reflects the adult population according to Census
information. The accuracy of Ipsos Reid online polls is measured using
a Credibility Interval. In this case, the results are accurate to
within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the
results would have been had the entire population of Canadian adults
been polled. Credibility intervals will be wider for smaller subsets of
the population. The "How Did You Finance Holiday Spending?" question
was fielded between January 30th to February 5, 2015 to a separate sample of n=2,000 Canadians.
For further information:
Lena Wan, RBC Communications, 416-955-6665
Kathy Bevan, RBC Communications, 416-974-8820