With the holiday season approaching, credit counselors urge Canadians to stick to money resolutions
By Katherine Ward
Students getting ready for holiday shopping might want to consult their budget first – that is, if they have one.
The sixth annual Credit Education Week is underway in Canada, and for good reason. A new survey conducted by Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions, suggests while most Canadians seek to set financial goals, most tend to fail when it comes to following through.
The survey results released Monday indicate that while four out of five people will make money resolutions, that same number of people fail when it comes to keeping them.
“One of the major roadblocks in keeping on track financially, is that spouses and family members tend to not agree with what the resolutions should be,” Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions, told Humber News.
“Coupled with that are impulse purchases and unrealistic goals which are impossible for people to realize.”
For many, resolutions are done right after New Year’s in January. However, officials say this might not be the right timing.
“January is just too late to be making a plan,” Campbell said. “The holidays are a very expensive time of year, and people need to be making a budget ahead of time that takes into account the whole financial picture rather then waiting until the money is gone.”
The survey suggested some differences in the spending habits of men and women. Eighty-five per cent of women were likely to cheat on their resolutions in comparison to 76 per cent of men, the study found.
While women tend to make many small purchases, men will often purchase single big ticket items, Campbell said.
Regardless, financial experts say taking the time to be financially aware is the key to success.
“If you have a plan in place, you are already much better off,” Laurel Ostfield, senior manager of communications of Capital One Canada, told Humber News.
Relying on luck
“But the reality is, the study showed about a third of Canadians are relying on the lottery or receiving a large inheritance for their financial future, and that’s not really planning.”
Ostfield said there are many resources available.
“There are so many free resources online and through counseling agencies. If people just make the extra effort now to educate themselves, they will be much happier in the long run.”
Over 150 events will be happening across the country this week to help promote financial awareness.
In Toronto, the official launch was happening Tuesday at the YMCA downtown at 20 Grosvenor St.
Another event will take place Wednesday at Yonge Dundas Square, where people can set financial goals and partake in festivities, including a what the organizers call a “ball drop” just like what happens on New Year’s Eve.