BUSINESS
12/08/2017 10:14 EST | Updated 12/08/2017 10:14 EST

Holiday Spending ‘Out Of Control,’ Majority Of Canadians Agree: CIBC

The most commonly wished-for gift is cash.

A crowd of shoppers browse at Target on the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Burbank, Calif., November 22, 2012. Canadians are growing frustrated with the hassle and cost of holiday shopping, but they're still planning to spend more this year than last, CIBC says.
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters
A crowd of shoppers browse at Target on the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Burbank, Calif., November 22, 2012. Canadians are growing frustrated with the hassle and cost of holiday shopping, but they're still planning to spend more this year than last, CIBC says.

Canadians are growing frustrated with the hassle and cost of holiday shopping, but they're still planning to spend more this year than last, CIBC says.

In the bank's survey of 1,512 Canadian adults carried out last month, nearly two-thirds of respondents — 64 per cent — agreed that "holiday spending is out of control."

"While the holidays are meant to be a time to reconnect with loved ones, Canadians are telling us that they're secretly frustrated with the shopping, stress and overspending that can end up eclipsing the joy of the season," CIBC Imperial Service vice-president David Nicholson said in a statement.

Watch: How to holiday shop like a champion, and not a loser

"It's time to reset expectations, so the holidays can be enjoyed to their fullest. No tradition is set in stone. Take some time with friends and family to discuss new traditions that might better reflect your shared values and help to reduce the costs and stress of the holidays."

One way to reduce the stress of the holidays might be to give cash, or cash equivalents like gift cards. The survey found this is actually the most common wish this holiday season, with 56 per cent of respondents putting it on their wanted list.

CIBC

But for all the griping, the survey found Canadians are planning to spend more this holiday season — about 8 per cent more than last year.

The average respondent said they will spend $643 on holiday shopping this year, and an additional $291 on additional holiday expenses such as entertaining, New Year's parties and Boxing Day sales.

What's more, 52 per cent said they were "somewhat" or "very" likely to go over budget. Fully 41 per cent said they can't afford their holiday spending, but feared being seen as Scrooge.

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"With as many three-quarters of Canadians conceding that they 'wish they could save more money' at this time of the year, it's clear we need to do things differently, put savings first, and find new ways to trim costs this season," Nicholson said.

"While part of that means having tough conversations, it also means sticking to a firm budget and having a savings plan in place so that the holidays don't derail you from your goals."

The CIBC survey was carried out online, among Angus Reid Forum panellists, from Nov. 27-Nov. 28, 2017, and has a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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