The holiday shopping season has started and Canadian shoppers are hitting the malls and building their online carts for the big day.
With inflation at 6.9 per cent, shoppers have been exploring ways to stretch their dollars this year. The holiday season may prove to be more economically challenging.
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada’s 2022 Holiday Spending
Study found that 67 per cent of Canadians are worried inflation will eat into their holiday spending budget. Despite that, shoppers are still planning to spend about $589 on
gifts, similar to the spending intentions stated in the 2021 Holiday Spending Report.
The online survey conducted by Ipsos was taken between Sept. 8 and 21, 2022, and asked 2,017 Canadians aged 18 and older about their spending intentions this year. The survey has a plus or minus margin of error of 2.5 per cent.
Carolyn Goodwin, the CPA’s Canada senior manager who oversees the financial literacy program, said everyone should find as many deals or savings as possible.
“CPA Canada’s position on preparation for holiday spending is really to take advantage of some of the season savings,” Goodwin said. “Overall, take a look at what savings are happening in the season and take advantage of coupons and sales.”
Shoppers can also take the opportunity this year to switch it up and try something new when it comes to gift giving.
“Think about a priceless gift that doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical gift, but it could be a gift of your time or services,” Goodwin said. “This is the time where a lot of people are feeling the crunch and as a year to maybe experiment on experiences.”
Another thing to consider this season would be the cost associated with holiday planning and preparation.
Jessica Moorhouse, a financial expert and the CEO and owner of MoorMoney Media Inc., said the season is more than just about shopping.
“Many people may just assume holiday shopping means buying gifts, but what about decorations, hosting holiday parties, getting new outfits, doing outdoor activities with friends and family?”
“List out everything you wish to do, or typically do, during the holidays, then look at what you spent on those things last year as a reference point to help you price out your holiday budget,” Moorhouse said.
She said she has used a Google Sheet for years in order to help her stay organized when it comes to budgeting and recommends others follow her lead.
“A simple spreadsheet can make the world of difference,” she said.
Sometimes shoppers can begin to feel overwhelmed or start to feel like they have started to overspend or are about to exceed their budget. There are many ways to approach these concerns, Moorhouse said.
“See if there are promo codes or coupons you can use and using a browser extension like Honey or Rakuten can help you do that pretty easily so you can save money but also earn cash back,” she said.
“Look at what you’ve spent money on so far and if it is outside of your initial budget or causing you anxiety, see if it’s not too late to return some of those things,” Moorhouse said.
“Then cut yourself off from spending anymore, or if that’s not possible, find a way to earn some extra income so you can afford those extra things,” she said.