Faced with bigger-than-anticipated holiday shopping bills, Canadians are starting 2017 with belt-tightening measures to get back in the black.
According to the latest annual RBC Post-Holiday Spending Poll, more Canadian shoppers overspent during the 2016 holiday season (61%) than in the previous year (51%). The average amount by which Canadians overspent also increased to $403, compared to $397 in 2015.
Drilling down into the data, results showed more women (55%) overspending than men (47%), with the 18-to-34 age bracket having the most overspenders (68%), as opposed to shoppers aged 35 to 54 (52%) and those aged 55 and above (37%). Through a geographical lens, the Prairies had the largest majority of overspenders (63%). Fifty-four per cent of Ontarians exceeded their holiday budget, while 49% of those in Quebec and 47% of those in Atlantic Canada, Alberta, and BC did so.
The December economic outlook released by RBC identified increases in employment and household net worth as factors behind increased consumer spending, which was identified as the key driver of Canada’s economy.
With the euphoria of the holidays long gone, Canadian consumers are looking for ways to start saving more. Items that they are cutting back on include entertainment (42%), lunches and coffees (33%). They are also targeting specific actions to better prepare for the holiday season this year: thirty-six per cent intend to regularly set aside savings, while 29% plan to draw up a budget earlier in the year, which includes saving for expenses to be incurred during the holidays.
“Seeing post-holiday bills as they arrive this month is a great wake-up call for anyone who spent more than they intended,” said RBC Vice President for GICs & Savings Vinita Savani. “The key [to effective savings] is for consumers to spend thoughtfully – to take the time to consider how important any purchases are.”
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