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Canadians cut down on holiday debt in 2018: poll

The nation cut down its overspending by nearly one-third compared to 2017

Did you overspend this holiday season?

After all, there’s nothing more synonymous with the holidays than being broke when they end.

But according to an RBC poll of 2,000 people released Wednesday, Canadians might have held back this year.

The poll suggests that although 40 per cent of Canadians overspent this holiday season, the amount they overspent was down 28 per cent, from $530 in 2017 to $384 in 2018.

The biggest drop was seen with millennials and women, who each cut their overspending by $200.

We’re all tempted to toss aside the budget during the holiday season, but what a good news story to see that Canadians showed restraint this year and far fewer are entering 2019 with holiday debt weighing them down,” said Vinita Savani, RBC vice-president of GICs and savings.

“Canadians are starting 2019 off on the right foot – their next step will be managing their spending throughout the year and seeing if they can build up their savings too.”

Across the country, the biggest overspenders were in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where 48 per cent of shoppers overspent by an average of $500.

Atlantic Canada was the best at not overspending, with only 33 per cent spending an average of $357 more than they wanted to.

Forty-three per cent of British Columbians overspent by $464, while 39 per cent of Albertans overspent by $404.

READ MORE: British Columbians still getting deeper in debt

Canadians overspent the most on giving experiences to family and friends, gift cards and electronics.


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