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Christmas shoppers are buying less

By Randy Thoms Dec 12, 2023 | 7:19 PM

Su--May / CC

The economy is having an impact on holiday shopping.

A survey from NerdWallet Canada finds 33 per cent of respondents are waiting for sales, and 24 percent are buying less than they did last year.

Another 15 percent indicated plans to pick up a second job for the additional spending cash.

Personal finance expert Shannon Terrell says it is not surprising.

“It makes a lot of sense given the broader context of the economic pressures that we’ve been facing. For example, inflation continues to exceed that 3% threshold set by the Bank of Canada, and in fact, we’ve been sitting at that plus 3% price growth since March of 2021,” says Terrell.

The survey also finds that 33% of Canadians still carry credit card debt from 2022.

Terrell says there are still ways people can have an enjoyable Christmas without breaking the bank.

She says it starts with a budget.

“Set a realistic budget, not an aspirational one. A budget should be directly tied to the amount of money you have coming in your income, your savings, and how much you actually have to spend on gifts.”

Terrell says shoppers can also take advantage of rewards programs and use points for some of this year’s purchases.

Layaway and buy now, pay later programs are also good options.

“These are cropping up everywhere, and they can be a really convenient option because we often don’t have to pay interest on what we borrow. The only caveat is make sure you understand the fine print and any associated fees.”