Yes, the holidays are a wonderful time of the year. But the festivities can also be stressful!
It’s not just the last-minute shopping, overcooked turkey and tangled lights that take the fun out of the holidays. Gift giving is expensive, especially for families. Who doesn’t feel the pressure of hosting perfect meals and buying everyone just the right thing? It all adds up.
So how do you get through the festivities with minimal financial stress? Being in control of your spending is one important way of reducing stress at holiday time.
Here are some tips:
- Have a realistic budget – and stick to it!
- Pay off your credit card in full to avoid costly credit card interest.
- Cut back your shopping list as a way of managing your debt.
It seems intuitive to spend within your means. But the reality is Canadians are saving less and spending more, which has led to record rates of household debt. In 2015, average household savings were 4% of disposable income, a significant drop from the 1980s when Canadians saved 20% of their disposable income, according to Statistics Canada.
Canadians are falling behind on managing their money in general. The holidays are a good time to revisit your finances. They’re also a good opportunity to teach your children about saving, smart spending and budgeting—knowing what you “need” versus what you “want.”
You can find more tips and resources at canada.ca/financial-literacy-month.