Do you end up paying off your holiday bills well into the New Year? Well, you’re not alone. According to Moneris Solutions, Canadians started 2010 with more debt than ever before.
The Retail Council of Canada reports that Canadians spend an average of $1,500 on gifts each year. We also tend to reduce our credit card balances in November as we get ready for our holiday shopping in December. That’s a recipe for a big holiday debt hangover.
Overspending adds stress, not joy, to the season. Let’s say you have 20 gifts to buy this year. It’s easy to spend $5-10 extra on each one – especially if you use a credit card to pay when you shop. Well, that little bit extra for each gift could add up to $200 of credit card debt in January. If you only pay the minimum amount due each month, you could still be paying off those gifts in May!
So how can you avoid spending too much? Here are 10 tips to keep holiday spending on track to help you be nice to your budget over the holidays. Do you want to make sure you stick to a plan? Use this Gift giving worksheet and budget to plan your expenses and track what you actually spend on things this season.
Tip: If you are naughty and overspend, use this calculator to find out how long it will take you to pay off the holiday debt on your credit card. You can also check out Remedies for a holiday debt hangover .
To learn more about the dangers of overspending, read How much does that expensive gift really cost? Luc’s story.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.