Canadians say rising cost of living will impact holiday plans: surveys

Canadians say rising cost of living will impact holiday plans: surveys

Heading into the holiday season, most are typically focused on finding the perfect gift for their loved ones, but this year shopping might look different due to the pressures the cost of living is putting on Canadian families’ budgets.

Two surveys by Spring Financial and BMO found that Canadians are stressed about finances this holiday season.

Spring Financial says 58 per cent of those surveyed are worried about their finances and 68 per cent say inflation is affecting their holiday plans this year. In B.C. 61 per cent say inflation is affecting their spending habits.

“If we’re comparing this holiday season to last year, we can see that many more Canadians are feeling financial pressure in 2023,” Spring Financial says. “In fact, 44% more Canadians are stressing more this year than they have in previous years, and only 13% are stressing less.”

BMO found that 58 per cent of those surveyed in Canada plan to use a credit card to pay for holiday gifts.

“On average, Canadians believe it will take three months to pay back their holiday bills and 24 per cent are not confident they will be able to pay off their post-holiday bills on time,” BMO says.

Looking ahead to the New Year, BMO says 42 per cent of Canadians are looking at making financial New Year’s resolutions, including making budgets for 2024.

“While many Canadians are looking forward to celebrating with family and loved ones, it is important not to get financially carried away during the holidays,” Gayle Ramsay, head of everyday banking with BMO said in a news release.

These surveys are the latest in many that have pointed to reduced spending this year as Canadians try to keep up with the rising cost of living.

READ PREVIOUS: Holiday spending expected to decline this year compared with 2022

This comes as businesses are continuing to work to recover from the reduced spending during the pandemic.

Last month, downtown associations across the country asked the federal government to take action on the rising number of retail vacancies in downtowns.

One action the groups have called for is to allow for another extension on the timeline to repay the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan, which were loans of up to $60,000 for small businesses and non-profits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan was first announced in March 2020, then applications closed on June 30, 2021.

READ PREVIOUS: Canadian downtown business associations call for action on growing vacancy rates

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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