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Did Christmas sneak up on you? Four tips for your last-minute purchases

Posted on Thursday December 21, 2017

Did Christmas sneak up on you? Four tips for your last-minute purchases

On average, Canadians expect to spend $723 this holiday season, down 18% from $884 last year. However, more than half of consumers did not set aside any money during the year for these major purchases.

If you are among the 25% of Canadians who waited until the very last minute to do your Christmas shopping, here are a few tips that could spare you a lot of stress!

1. Use your loyalty card points

Loyalty programs are ubiquitous. If you've accumulated points, now is the time to use them. They often come with excellent privileges that might not interest you but could mean the world to someone you care about. Best case scenario: you won't have to spend a thing. Worst case? You'll spend less.

2. Set a price limit for your presents!

It is possible to find original gifts that don't cost a fortune. Setting a limit will force you to use your imagination. Why not give handmade gifts? Sweet treats baked with love, a knitted article of clothing, a lovely potted plant, a photo album? The possibilities are endless, and your presents will have a personal touch.

Don't forget, time is also a gift! Babysitting a loved one's kids so they can enjoy a night out is priceless. Preparing meals for overwhelmed new parents is more helpful than stuff, no matter what it's worth. Taking out a nephew means offering quality time to build a meaningful relationship.

3. Think ahead for next year

Bluetooth headphones for Dad, an elegant handbag for Mom, a tablet for your daughter, a little present for your partner? To be able to give all your friends and family something they'll enjoy, you might need to spend a lot at once! It's best to plan ahead. Save $20 a week for 52 weeks, and you'll have a $1,040 budget with little effort.

Use these tools and make a budget now!

  • My budget, the AccèsD budget management tool, helps you keep track of your income and daily spending, and set realistic objectives. You can see the money coming in and going out at a glance, and better manage your finances.

  • The online calculator on Uni.ca will help you create a realistic budget.

4. Reinvent one of last year's looks

There must be something in your closet that you enjoy wearing and that will be appropriate for your different parties and events. Take the time to look. You're sure to find an outfit that you can dress up with a festive accessory?a lovely necklace, scarf, belt, etc.

The holidays are for getting together with the people who are important to you. The size and price of your gifts don't matter! Quality time and sharing are what make the season great.

Source for statistics: CPA Canada

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