It’s that time of year again, where our wallets are thinned and credit card statements prompt that oh-too-familiar gasp associated with holiday overspending.
But that doesn’t seem to be stopping Canadians from snapping up some Cyber Monday and Black Friday 2012 deals, according to a CIBC poll.
The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima, showed one in 10 Canadians plan on getting an early start to holiday shopping on November 23 and 26 with an additional seven per cent saying they were undecided.
The Start of Holiday Spending Season
The sale days are meant as a “commemoration” of sorts for the spark of the global recession in 2008, but have become synonymous with the holiday spending boom. “Black Friday marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season for many Canadians,” said Colette Delaney, executive vice president of CIBC, in a statement to the press.
Cash Isn’t King
The poll also reveals that cash won’t be the tender of choice for these shopping trips, with Canadians “turning to the convenience of debit and credit cards”, which can make it harder to track spending – something Delaney cautions against.
“With the start of the biggest shopping period of the year it’s very important to consider your budget for gifts and other expenses and to start keeping track of what you spend over the coming weeks,” says Delaney. “Whether you are using your debit card to help keep closer track of expenses, or earning rewards on your credit card with a plan to pay off your balance, keeping track of your budget will help ensure that you spend only what you plan to this holiday season.”
As per the poll, more than two-thirds of Canadians (70 per cent) favour debit or credit for holiday shopping, a three per cent rise from 2011.
Those planning to pocket cash for their holiday spending spree dropped to 27 per cent this year from last year’s 29 per cent, according to the survey.
Why are Canadians Making the Switch?
Sixty per cent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers say they’re going the route of credit and debit for convenience, while 58 per cent gave the nod to accumulating reward points via their spending. Further to that, 11 per cent plan to utilize their reward points to pay for some purchases.
Caught Up in the Shopping Web
Delaney also says many consumers with access to smartphones will use e-banking to keep track of finances.
“Being able to log in to mobile banking on your smartphone while you are at the mall, or receive an alert to let you know you’ve exceeded your planned budget, are just two examples of using your smartphone or computer to quickly tabulate your holiday spending and know exactly where you stand in terms of your budget,” says Delaney.
Advice heeded by 76 per cent who said they plan on paying off their credit purchases in full “as quickly as possible.”
Don’t Get Stuck at the Border
Thinking of making the trip south to take part in Black Friday in person? Be sure to check with your bank first. You’ll want to ensure that your debit or credit card is accepted internationally – and avoid the potential freeze treatment imposed by your bank as a result of unexpected out-of-country spending.