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CIBC Poll: Staying on budget a priority for majority of holiday shoppers this year 

Millennials most likely to overspend to get the right gift but like most Canadians, plan to spend the same or less than they did last year

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2014 /CNW/ – A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll finds that 79 per cent of Canadians are committed to staying within budget this holiday season and will resist the temptation to overspend trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list.

Canadians 18-34 were the most likely (30 per cent) to admit they would go over budget on holiday spending if it meant getting the perfect gift for everyone on their list. In contrast, among Canadians over 55 ‎only 12 per cent said they would be willing to look past their budget if the right gifts caught their eye.

It’s looking to be a year for frugal spending this holiday season. In addition to staying on budget, most Canadians also plan to keep spending to last year’s levels or lower saying they’ll spend, on average, $517 on their holiday shopping this year. Two-thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) plan to spend about the same as they did last year, with one in five (20 per cent) looking to spend less.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 79 per cent of Canadians will try to buy gifts that stay within their holiday spending budget; 21 per cent are prepared to go over budget to find the right gift
  • Canadians overall are planning to spend an average of $517 on holiday shopping this year
    • 66 per cent of Canadians plan to spend about the same amount on the holidays as they did last year
    • 20 per cent plan to spend less than they did last year
    • 9 per cent plan to spend more than last year

“Managing our holiday spending wisely and staying within budget is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves,” says Veni Iozzo, Senior Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. “Staying on budget requires discipline and tools to keep you on track. When you are fighting crowds in a busy mall and running out of time, it is easy to lose sight of your budget and overspend.”

“Shoppers can use a mobile banking app to track their spending and send them alerts if they are going to go over budget.”

Don’t go overboard

Ms. Iozzo advises that those who plan to spend more, and even go over budget this year, need to have a realistic plan to pay off this debt or risk putting their other financial goals at risk.

“While the holiday spirit may inspire generosity, each purchase, especially unplanned, can really add up,” she adds. “It is important to watch your spending carefully as you go, and if you are paying on credit, be sure to have a plan in place to pay off the balance quickly to avoid interest charges.”

CIBC offers time-saving tips for shoppers:

  • Spending Alerts – Services such as CIBC CreditSmart can help you stick to your budget. Free to CIBC credit card holders, CIBC CreditSmart allows clients to set a budget limit on each spending category on their credit card, and be notified by phone, email or online message when they exceed their customized budget.
  • Pay in a Flash Interac Flashcan help make shopping for smaller items much quicker and provides real-time tracking of purchases for enhanced budgeting. If you don’t have an Interac Flash-enabled CIBC Advantage Debit Card, call us or visit a branch to get one today.
  • Shop online Avoid all the disappointment and stress of fighting through crowds and lines at the store by shopping online. You can have your order shipped directly to whomever you want and many retailers offer free shipping as well as gift wrapping services. When it comes to paying for your online order you can use your CIBC Advantage Debit Card to pay with money you have in your bank account.
  • Secure payment With the introduction of Visa Checkout you can save yourself the hassle of entering your payment details every time you order something online. Simply create a user name and password and enter your payment and shipping information once. From that point on you can speed through your online purchases at any retailer that uses Visa Checkout.


How much Canadians plan to spend on holiday shopping this year, by age:

18-34 year olds


35-54 year olds


55+ year olds


Whether Canadians plan to spend more or less than they did on the holidays last year:

About the same






Do not shop for the holidays


How Canadians approach their holiday shopping:

Want to find a great gift for everyone on their list even if that means
going over their budget


Want to buy gifts that stay within their holiday spending budget


From November 7th to 10th 2014, an online survey was conducted among 1,505 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients.


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