Most Canadians to Exceed Holiday Spending Budgets, Says Study

PayPal has revealed today that while 76% of Canadians plan to budget their holiday spending this year, 56% are likely to exceed their budget despite their intentions. The findings are part of PayPal’s 2023 Festive Spending Snapshot, which surveyed 2,000 Canadian adults who celebrate the holiday season.

The study highlights various strategies Canadians are employing to manage their spending. Forty-four percent of respondents are closely monitoring prices to avoid overspending or incurring debt, and 25% are setting budgets to prevent dipping into savings. Additionally, a quarter of those surveyed save money throughout the year for significant holiday purchases.

However, staying within budget is a challenge for many, with 48% expecting to overspend due to increased prices compared to previous years. This trend is particularly notable among Gen Z shoppers, with 41% planning to exceed their budget to spoil friends and family, and 20% to treat themselves.

“Despite good intentions to save where possible, Canadians are struggling to make holiday budgets work. We’re encouraging Canadians to adopt ‘Festive Math,’ a budgeting approach whereby holiday shoppers plan a budget and stick to it.” said Malini Mitra, Director of Communications at PayPal Canada, in a statement.

The concept of ‘Festive Math’ involves careful planning and sticking to a set budget. Among those who have set budgets, 42% are allocating budgets per person, and 41% are setting price limits per person.

The survey also found that 37% of Canadians feel less stressed and more relaxed during the holiday season by having a budget. Additionally, 29% compare prices to ensure they get the best value for gifts.

Nearly one in five (19%) view buying festive décor as a strategic investment due to its annual use, and 18% consider re-gifting unwanted presents as a cost-saving measure. Other strategies include redeeming loyalty points or rewards (32%), giving DIY gifts (17%), shopping second-hand (13%), and avoiding social gatherings (12%). To maintain control over their spending, 29% of Canadians plan to pay for their holiday shopping in cash.

The PayPal 2023 Festive Spending Snapshot was conducted online by OnePoll in November 2023, surveying a nationally representative group of 2,000 Canadian adults who celebrate the holidays.

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