Women are more likely to treat themselves but men spend more

New survey shines a light on Canadians' self-gifting behaviours

Women are more likely to treat themselves but men spend more
Steve Randall

We all like to treat ourselves occasionally and a new survey shows that 75% of Canadians do so.

But while women are more likely to indulge themselves in ‘self-gifting’ with 65% saying they do so compared to 57% of men, when men treat themselves, they are likely to spend more - $149 on average compared to $86 for women.

Despite record-high levels of debt, there are signs that Canadians are curbing spending but still find room in the budget for a treat.

The survey was conducted by Rakuten.ca (formerly Ebates.ca) and discovered that 38% of Canadians say they don't need a special reason to treat themselves, while 19% say they self-gift for accomplishing a goal they set.

"These special indulgences are often seen as an important element of self-care, whether as a reward for something or 'just because'," says Graziella Mitri, Brand Specialist and resident shopping expert with Rakuten.ca. "While men and women may differ on how often or what type of gifts they buy themselves, the findings reveal that on average, men spend considerably more on themselves as compared to women."

More than 4 in 10 men would be most likely to buy electronics or a meal out while women favour clothing/accessories or beauty products/treatments.

Overall, 5% of Canadians have spent more than $500 on something for themselves.

On average, most Canadians who treat themselves do so because they feel it's important (63%), while 27% said they deserved it for working hard; the latter is most likely to be said by men (31% vs. 23% of women).

Women are more likely than men to say that it's important to treat yourself (67% vs. 57%).

Younger Canadians (under 35) are more likely to self-gift (85%) than older Canadians (71%).

"What this survey revealed is that although the spend, items and reasons differ, the majority of Canadians like to self-gift – perhaps because they're buying themselves exactly what they want," says Mitri.

Ebates transition
Rakuten.ca changed from its Ebates.ca heritage recently after being acquired by Japanese conglomerate Rakuten in 2014.

But the transition has been a long one with brand awareness for the Japanese brand virtually at zero five years ago. The marketing has been focused on the US market where Ebates was operating for a decade before launching in Canada.