Holiday overspending dropped to its lowest level in Canada in eight years, according to a poll by Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
The RBC Post-Holiday Spending & Saving Insights Poll found that overspending was down 28% from 2017, with Canadian consumers spending an average of $384 over their budgets (down from $530 in 2017).
The biggest drop was among women and those between the ages of 18 and 34, who cut their spending by nearly $200. While 40% of Canadians went over their budgets, one-third have already paid off that debt.
“Canadians are starting 2019 off on the right foot,” said Vinita Savani, RBC’s vice-president, GICs and savings, in a statement.
Over the holidays, Canadians spent the most on experiences for family and friends ($129), followed by gift cards ($119), electronics ($102), toys ($96), entertainment ($51), gifts for pets ($29) and giving to charities on behalf of family and friends ($28).
To climb out of their holiday spending holes, the poll found, Canadians plan to spend less on entertainment, lunch and coffee (30%); and spend less on day-to-day living expenses (25%). Some are planning to carry costs on credit cards, in which case 20% plan to pay off the balance in two months or more, and 14% plan to pay off the balance immediately.