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Canadians In A Gift-giving Mood But Tightening Their Belts On Holiday Spending: RBC

Canadians' average planned holiday spending down six per cent to $1,182

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - With the peak holiday shopping period around the corner, the majority (82 per cent) of Canadians are in the gift-giving mood, according to the latest RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook. Overall, Canadians who will celebrate by giving gifts intend to spend $1,182 on the holidays including gifts, decorations, entertaining and travel. This is down six per cent from the $1,251 of last year's anticipated spending amount and more in line with the spending intentions of $1,137 in 2010.

Among Canadians who will buy gifts, on average, they plan to spend $629, which is less than last year ($640), but also on par with 2010 ($624). Canadians gift-givers intend to significantly curb their spending on holiday expenses other than gifts, to an average of $553, down 10 per cent from last year ($612).

"It's clear that Canadians are conscious of their finances and are taking a closer look at what they can afford this holiday season," said Chris McEachern, financial planning role strategist, RBC Financial Planning. "A little planning ahead of your holiday shopping can make all the difference. By creating a realistic budget and keeping track of your purchases, it will help you avoid the post-holiday blues when the bills come in."

More than half (56 per cent) of Canadians plan to fund their festivities with savings and one-in-five (24 per cent) plan to use credit cards; however, almost one-quarter (23 per cent) say they have not thought about how they will pay for the holiday season.

"No matter how you choose to purchase your gifts, whether it's with debit or credit cards, in store or online, knowing how you'll cover your holiday expenses is crucial to avoiding unwanted debt and ensuring you are in good financial shape for the new year," added McEachern.

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