Four out of ten Canadians hit by holiday buyers' remorse

Four out of ten Canadians hit by holiday buyers' remorse

Four out of ten Canadians hit by holiday buyers During times of euphoria, people feel invincible; they buy and buy and buy, forgetting all sense of fear and consequence. But once reality sets in, it can hit extremely hard. Investors in the financial markets and bitcoin learned that lesson recently — and so has another group.

According to the new RBC 2018 Holiday Spending and Saving Insights Poll, 42% of Canadians admit that they overspent, exceeding their budgets by an average of $530 during the holiday season.

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Teasing apart the results by region, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (48%) and Ontario (45%) had the biggest percentages of people overspending. Ontario shoppers overshot their limits by $652 on average, while those from Saskatchewan and Manitoba took out $363 more from their wallets than they intended to.

Prudence tends to increase with age, which showed in the proportion of overspenders for each age group. Shoppers aged 18-34 topped all age groups with 55%, compared to those aged 35-54 (43%) and 55 and above (29%).

But that trend breaks down when looking at the amounts overspent. 35- to 54-year-olds overspent by the most ($565), compared to those aged 18-34 ($556) and those who were at least 55 years old ($436).

And while women had a greater tendency to overspend than men (45% vs. 38%), female overspenders went past their limits by a smaller amount ($485) compared to their male counterparts ($587).

When asked what they would do differently to avoid making the same mistake this year, 43% of overspenders said they would plan to save on a regular basis, while 36% said they would budget for holiday spending earlier in the year. But that could be easier said than done.

“We all have the best of intentions to save more for the holiday season and other expenses – but often we struggle to find ways to save that extra money,” said Vinita Savani, vice president for GICs & Savings at RBC. “When we asked Canadians how much they thought they could save each month without really noticing, they estimated around $258 on average — which would really add up over a year, if they could take the time to set that money aside.”

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