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Heavy Holiday Spending Means New Year Debt Hangover

TORONTO, ON - The average Canadian will spend 8 per cent more this holiday season than they did last year, and with Canadian household debt at a record high, many people will be facing significant debt levels come January. 

Last week, a CIBC poll revealed that the average Canadian will spend 8 per cent more this holiday season than they did last year, spending an average of $643 on gifts and $300 on decor and entertaining.

Close to three-quarters of respondents agreed they "wish they could save more money" this time of year, while 52 per cent said they would end up spending more than they liked.

With Canadian household debt at a record high—owing $1.71 for every dollar earned—Canadians will be facing significant debt levels come January when December bill statements make their way into customers' inboxes and homes.

Credit Canada has provided the following tips to help keep holiday spending under control:

  • Set a budget and stick to it—review your income and expenses to determine what you can safely afford to spend this holiday season. If you need budgeting help, you can set up a free appointment with a certified credit counsellor by calling 1.800.267.2272.

  • Track your spending—use a free Budget Tracker to see exactly how much you are spending and on what.

  • Cut spending in other areasa Budget Calculator can help identify areas in your budget where expenses can be cut, while sites like MyFridgeFood can help you make the most of what you already have in your refrigerator and pantry.

  • Leave credit cards at homeit is too easy to overspend when shopping with credit cards. Using cash instead can help you stick to your budget.

  • No restaurants or takeout—keep unnecessary food expenditures down to a minimum, such as restaurant outings and ordering takeout. This alone can save a household over $200.
  • Avoid last-minute shopping—we tend to spend more when we are rushed, so plan ahead.

For more free money management Tips and Tools, please visit creditcanada.com.


Credit Canada is a not-for-profit charitable service providing personal debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as free credit counselling services for people experiencing debt problems and financial distress. This includes preventative counselling, educational seminars, as well as tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting. As the founding member of credit counselling in Canada, Credit Canada is a leader in financial literacy and the longest-standing credit counselling agency in the country, having helped over two million Canadians achieve financial empowerment throughout its 50+ year history.

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