Canadians say their holiday spending is ‘out of control’ this year: poll

More than half of all Canadians in a new CIBC poll said they plan to use credit to do their holiday shopping this year | Shutterstock

As we head into the holiday season, almost two-thirds of Canadians are saying their spending is ‘out of control’ this year, and British Columbians report they plan to spend even more than the national average, according to a CIBC poll released December 7.

The average shopper in B.C. plans to spend $661 this year, which is an increase of 25% compared with $529 last year. By contrast, the average shopper across the country plans to spend $643 – up 8% compared with $597 in 2016.

More than half of all poll respondents nationwide say they expect to go over budget, however, and 41% say they can’t really afford the spending, but feel pressured to participate.

“While the holidays are meant to be a time to reconnect with loved ones, Canadians are telling us that they’re secretly frustrated with the shopping, stress and overspending that can end up eclipsing the joy of the season,” said CIBC vice-president of imperial service David Nicholson.

Canada’s top gift-givers are found in the Maritime provinces, where respondents said they plan to spend $827 on gifts, on average, this year.

Most of those surveyed – 59% – said they plan to do their spending using credit.