Canadian Holiday Spending Data Highlights Need for Realistic Expectations

With the holiday season now upon us, Canadians from coast to coast are taking a look at spending budgets and, on average, increasing this year’s spending amount by a whopping 8% across the board.

Whether it is a shiny new iPhone X or one of this year’s most fashionable toys, missing out on having the latest and greatest gadgets of this year has driven spending substantially higher, a fact which has worried a number of personal finance experts, given the relatively high consumer debt levels of the average Canadian.

With Canadians holding an average of $1.68 per $1.00 of disposable income in household debt, the decision between chipping away at said debt load or postponing austerity appears to be increasingly made in favour of the latter.

The average spend this year, according to data compiled by CIBC, will be $643, an increase of nearly $50 since last year ($597 in 2016). Additional spending related to entertainment and boxing day spending is expected to amount to $300 per person, meaning the average Canadian is expecting to spend nearly $1,000 this holiday season.

The best advice most personal finance experts give on the subject of how much to spend during the holiday season is to set expectations beforehand, limiting who receives gifts and what the average spend per gift will be, to keep spending in line with one’s income.

Invest wisely, my friends.