A Research Co. poll shows almost half of Canadians are tightening their Christmas budget this year, but it could be tougher than it sounds.
“It’s in our very nature to spend more on our children on our partners,” says UVic Business and Economics Professor Mark Colgate.
Colgate says while people start out with the best of intentions, it’s easy to get swept up in holiday debt.
“You always want to one-up what you spent last year. If you spent $200 on your significant other last year, you probably want to up the ante this year to $250.”
The poll shows 47 per cent of Canadians will not spend more than $500 this Christmas, covering gifts, food and decorations.
Twenty-three per cent of those polled said they’ll spend less than last year.
“I don’t think they’re going to spend less at all,” says Colgate.
“I think they’ll put it on their credit cards and I think they’ll try and pay it off in January and February,” he predicts.
With the price of everything from shipping to shortbread up from last year, you could assume that charities are taking a hit, but Goldstream Food Bank Walter Dubeau says donations are at last year’s level.
“We’re actually fairly happy with the way it’s going,” says Dubeau. “We’re actually able to put food on the table of 740 families this Christmas.”
Colgate says with many mortgages not yet up for renewal we could see holiday budgets get even leaner in 2024.
“We’re seeing a bit of it this year, but we might see even more next year,” he says.