Many Islanders feel anything but festive about their holiday finances


WATCH: Christmas may be around the corner, but new data shows that most Canadians feel anything but festive about their finances during the holidays. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

With just days until the merriest day of the year, parking lots are full and malls are packed on Vancouver Island.

Unfortunately for many Islanders, shopping is anything but joyful.

“Everyone drops when they see their credit card bill,” said one holiday shopper at Mayfair Mall in Victoria.

According to a report by the Retail Council of Canada, one in three Canadians say they overspent during the holidays last year.

When it comes to holiday shoppers’ budgets, individual spending is all over the map.

“I’ve probably spent about $800 so far this year,” said one person we spoke to.

“I walked [into the mall] and within five minutes I spent $300,” explained another shopper. “I think I’m getting a good start!”

In a survey commissioned by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the average Canadian plans to spend around $643 on holiday shopping.

The biggest spenders live in Eastern Canada, according to the Retail Council’s survey of 2,504 respondents.

Shoppers in Atlantic Canada budgeted the most this year, at $813, followed by Ontario ($805) and then British Columbia ($688).

A recent report by Manulife also found that three in ten Canadians end up regretting how much they spend during the Christmas season.

So what are people spending their money on?

“I bought one of those popular scent diffusers,” said one shopper.

“I’m planning to spend a lot on baby clothes and products,” explained another.

New data from the Retail Council suggests that gift giving isn’t the biggest expense of the holidays.

The report found that most purchases go towards buying food and alcohol at 19 per cent, followed by clothing at 17 per cent and toys at 10 per cent.

However, some purchases are simply priceless.

“We had to pay $60 each for our elf costumes,” said one couple waiting in line to take a photo with Santa. “It was worth every penny!”

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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