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People stretching their dollars this Christmas

Survey finds cash also goes towards trips and entertaining

By Andrea Macpherson, News1130

November 16, 2011

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Many people are going for a Christmas experience rather than getting caught up in a consumer spending frenzy this year.  The Bank of Montreal Holiday Spending Outlook is predicting more on the table and less under the tree.

Laura Parsons with BMO says Canadians expect to spend almost $1,400 in total this year, but not all of that cash is going towards material goods.  "I think people are really taking a look at their budgets a lot more, setting aside money in an effort to not overspend."

"[And] for some of us we have everything so we're shifting out efforts in another direction.  I can't speak for everybody, but we utilize a lot of gift cards, and reward programs like our Air Miles."

Aiden Enns, co-organizer of BuyNothingChristmas.org, says you can get away with spending a lot less than that by changing your attitude.

"We litter the floor with wrapping paper, and then shower ourselves with gifts many of which we don't need or don't want.  And we feel stuck that this is the way we express our love and devotion to one another, and now with the various crisis and the movement of the protestors, we have permission to opt out of the spending spree and get more realistic."

He adds people should try challenging themselves this year by giving out more meaningful gifts.  "Enjoy yourselves together, don't overspend, have a great time feeling the love and not junk that we leave behind."


Spending numbers

Christmas spending                                               2010            2011

Gift Purchases                                                       $613.50         $582.70

Trips                                                                      $356.50         $359.80

Entertaining                                                            $203.80         $307.30

Other                                                                      $131.80         $147.50

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