Before you know it, the holiday season will be here, and this year, Canadians are changing their money-saving and gift-giving strategies, opting for more budget-conscious approaches.
According to Rakuten.ca's Holiday Spending Survey, with the anticipated average spend on holiday gifts projected at $570, a slight decrease from $600 in 2022, Canadians are seeking ways to rein in their holiday expenses amidst the backdrop of rising costs throughout the year. Notably, parents are poised to be the biggest spenders this year, with an average projected spend of $745 for the holiday season.
The survey reveals that Canadians are adopting an average of five cost-saving tactics, up from three in the previous year. These measures include actively hunting for sales and offers (75%), leveraging loyalty programs such as Rakuten.ca for cashback rewards (61%), opting for experiences or activities over traditional gifts (35%), and beginning their holiday shopping early to spread out expenses (56%). Furthermore, 33% are planning to trim their gift lists, including friends, coworkers, and neighbours, to better manage their holiday spending.
"Offsetting the financial strain of one of the highest shopping periods of the year is often a priority for many Canadians and we're seeing increasing numbers of consumers looking at ways they can save, whether it be shopping sales or stacking deals," says Jennifer LaForge, General Manager at Rakuten.ca.
"We've been seeing a lot more conscious consumers, especially those looking for everyday savings to balance the high-spend holiday season with the rest of the year."
In a time when prices are on the rise, savvy shoppers are continuously seeking innovative ways to save, utilizing cashback and loyalty programs, and keeping a close eye on sales throughout the gift-giving season.
Cost-saving measures for holiday shopping according to Canadians
Loyalty Programs & Cash Back
As Canadians intensify their money-saving strategies, loyalty programs that offer cashback incentives are gaining popularity, with 65% of respondents expressing a preference for cashback over points systems. During the holiday spending frenzy, 61% plan to take advantage of loyalty programs to earn cashback on their festive purchases.
Shopping during major sales events remains a common practice for Canadians, with 63% planning to shop on Black Friday, 50% on Cyber Monday, and 46% on Boxing Day. Interestingly, 63% of survey participants intend to seize these sales opportunities to treat themselves in addition to shopping for others.
Shifting Gift-Giving Strategies
When contemplating their own holiday wish lists this year, many Canadians prioritize receiving practical items they genuinely need (63%), followed by gift cards (53%), experiences (28%), and luxury items (26%). Responsible and thoughtful spending takes precedence as Canadians seek ways to make their dollars stretch further. Moreover, to help manage their holiday expenses, a whopping 76% of Canadians plan to establish a budget for their holiday shopping adventures.
In the face of evolving financial landscapes, Canadians are demonstrating resilience and adaptability, ensuring that the spirit of giving remains strong while also guarding their own financial well-being. This holiday season promises to be one of practicality, savings, and a redefined approach to gift giving in the true spirit of the Canadian way.