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Holiday budgeting: Your 2021 survival guide


The 2021 holiday season will look like no other. With fewer health restrictions in place, Canadians are eager to join each other in person again. But with an uneven economy and potential supply issues, how should you plan for holiday spending?  

We’ve put together a few things to think about, to help you stick to your budget while enjoying the best parts of the season.

Canadians plan on record spending

If you’re like many Canadians, you may be tempted to splurge this year. Holiday spending is expected to rise 31% with Canadians planning to spend more than they did before the pandemic, according to a Deloitte study.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, remember to keep an overall budget in mind, as there are several factors that make this holiday unique.

Don’t go overboard

This season, plan to start the new year without holiday debt. To avoid overspending, create a budget for things like meals, entertainment, decorations, and clothing. When it comes to gifts, make a realistic list that includes current pricing, taxes, and shipping fees.

Where you can, be generous with your time and attention, instead of your wallet. If you host a dinner, for example, ask your guests to bring their favourite dish. You’re sure to remember the time you spent together, not how much money you spent preparing the meal.

Tips and tools to get you started

Sticking to a budget takes commitment, especially over the holidays. Here are a few tips and tools to help:

  • Look at the bigger picture: Find out where your money is going, beyond holiday spending. Try our budget calculator
  • Make small sacrifices: If money is tight this year, try cutting out one expense for a month — perhaps your daily coffee or weekly take-out meal — and apply that money to your holiday budget.
  • Shop early online: Given potential supply chain issues, do your online shopping as early as possible. You’re more likely to avoid disappointment and the expense of rush delivery fees.  

Plan for next year

One of the best ways to make your next holiday season even better, is to keep track of your spending this year. For 2021, mark down the amount you spend on gifts, meals, travel, and decorations.

Total your costs and divide by twelve. You’ll have an idea how much you should be saving every month through 2022, to be ready for next year. Even better, set up an automatic transfer to a high-interest savings account, so the money will be there when you need it.

Connect with us

Don’t let spending stress dampen your holiday spirit.

We’re here for you. Boost your money confidence with the guidance of a Meridian advisor! You don’t have to manage your money alone.

Even better — at Meridian, you can speak with an advisor for free, no matter how much money you have. 

Talk to one of our advisors.

Meridian Credit Union communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

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