Finding Balance with Holiday Spending
The holiday season is coming! Are you prepared to handle the cost? Did you know that in 2013 Canadians spent an average of $678 on gifts, and that cost can balloon upwards of $1,800 when you include travelling to see family or friends?1
Here are some tips to help you financially prepare for the holiday season. Also included for your convenience is a budgeting calculator to help make saving for the holiday season easier. Download the budgeting calculator.
1. Make a list of everyone you plan to purchase gifts for.
- Include ideas for what the gift may be and include the cost of the item.
- Where are you purchasing the gifts? Do you start purchasing gifts prior to the holiday season if the item is on sale (e.g. Black Friday sales)? Do you shop online and find great deals with eBay, or Amazon? These tips can help keep the costs of the holiday season down.
- Be sure to include the cost of miscellaneous items such as wrapping paper, gift bags, greeting cards and stamps.
- Do you have reward points from your credit card that you can claim to purchase gifts? This allows you to purchase gifts without spending additional money.
2. Are you are hosting a holiday party? Include the items you are planning on purchasing for the party and the cost associated with each item.
- Share the cost. Ask your guests to bring an item to the party (wine, dessert, appetizers, etc.).This will help keep the cost of the party at a reasonable level.
3. Do you need to travel to visit family/friends during the holiday season?
- If yes, are you budgeting the additional costs such as flights or hotels? Are you renting a car (fuel, additional insurance)?
4. Have you started to save money for the holiday season?
- Some people start to save money in January for the following holiday season. If you save $26 a paycheque (based on bi-weekly pay cheques), you’ll have $676 to go toward holiday spending. If you save $70 per pay, you’ll have $1,820 for the holidays to cover the cost of travel and gifts.
5. Always plan ahead.
- Keep the list of what you spent from previous years to help budget for future years. This will ensure that you are able to plan and save for the future holiday season without going over budget.
- Also, with a list on hand, you will be more prepared to buy the perfect gift in advance when it is on sale.
For more information, please contact your Pension Consultant, or the author of this article, Chris Santos, Service Consultant at 1-866-912-6926.