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article imageBank Study: Majority of Canadians were on budget over holidays

By Andrew Moran     Jan 31, 2012 in Business
Toronto - A new published study shows that a strong majority of Canadians were able to stay on budget during their holiday spending bonanza. Almost one-third went over their budget by an average of $467, up $38 from a year ago.
January is usually the month of unpleasantness: credit card statements arrive, there is no respite from the wintry weather, we gained some weight and spring’s arrival is still a long wait. Fortunately, for a majority of Canadians, there is one piece of good news from the post-holiday season.
According to a study from the Royal Bank of Canada, 69 percent of Canadians managed to stay within their budgetary realm during the holiday shopping season. Meanwhile, 31 percent noted that they spent more during the holidays by an average of $467, which is up $38 from one year ago.
Of the consumers who managed to stay on track for their budget, 40 percent of them said high debt levels was one of the primary factors of not overspending. 27 percent listed tracking spending with a budget as a reason they spent within their means.
Nearly half of those who overspent now plan to cut back on their everyday living expenses. 42 percent say they will cut back on entertainment and 41 percent will find efficiencies on day-to-day living expenses, such as groceries, phone and cable in order to get their finances back on track.
“It's encouraging to see that the majority of Canadians kept an eye on personal debt and took a more cautious approach to holiday purchases,” said RBC vice president of Personal Lending at RBC, Richard Goyder. “However, some Canadians went beyond their budget, meaning that there's still room for improvement when creating a budget and payment plan.”
More than one-third of Canadians now plan to put their credit cards away and avoid it for a little while. How about when it comes to coffee? 31 percent say they will steer clear of coffee and/or lunch.
“There are ways to get into the spirit of the holiday season without breaking the bank and then having to deal with short-term fixes throughout the year,” explained Goyder. “The New Year is a great time to review your finances, get a proper handle on your debt load and set out a budget to pay it off and start saving."
More about royal bank of canada, Holidays, Canadians, Spending, Budget
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