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Coast Capital relieves post-holiday debt stress with #ColdHardCash

Morning commuters throw cash-filled snowballs to get payback on their holiday bills

A lucky commuter selects a snowball to throw at the "Holiday Bills" ice sculpture during the Coast Capital Savings #ColdHardCash event in Vancouver this morning.

A lucky contestant flashes their winnings during the Coast Capital Savings #ColdHardCash event in Vancouver this morning.

The snowballs filled with cash start to fly during the Coast Capital Savings #ColdHardCash event in Vancouver this morning.

A lucky winner of a snowball filled with $1,000 shows us his "happy dance" during the Coast Capital Savings #ColdHardCash event in Vancouver this morning.


Surrey, B.C. With the holiday shopping season now over, many Canadians are suffering from financial hangovers as their holiday bills start to arrive. Coast Capital Savings got creative in finding a cure for Vancouverites this morning with their #ColdHardCash event.

The event, which took place in downtown Vancouver, gave morning commuters the chance to throw snowballs at a large ice sculpture built to represent their holiday bills. Inside each snowball was a hidden cash prize, with some snowballs containing as much as $1,000.

“When it comes to the holidays, even the most conservative spender can find themselves spending more than they had planned,” says Coast Capital President and CEO, Don Coulter. “With extra spending, comes extra bills and often extra stress,” adds Coulter.  “At Coast Capital we want to help Canadians reduce their stress by showing them how to manage their finances better and improve their overall financial well-being.”

Recent studies have shown that Canadians intended to spend more during the 2016 holiday season than they did in 2015, but that they are also carrying debt year-round and in many cases, more debt than they are comfortable with:

  • A November 2016 survey of Canadians by found that on average, Canadians planned to spend around $600 on holiday shopping during the 2016 holiday season, compared to $402 during the 2015 holiday season.
  • In a September 2016 survey by the Canadian Payroll Association, 48 per cent of respondents believed it would be difficult to make ends meet if their paycheque was delayed by a week. Four in 10 respondents said they spend all or more of their take-home pay, while nine in 10 carries some form of debt.

“The fact that so many Canadians are pushing themselves further into debt is a concerning trend,” says Coulter. “Now is a great time to think about your financial situation and how you can start 2017 off on the right foot, financially speaking.”

Here are five easy things that can help you to achieve financial well-being in 2017:

  • MANAGE: review the budget you set for yourself in 2016 and rate how closely you stuck to it. If you didn’t stick to it, consider what factors contributed to this. If you didn’t have a 2016 budget, now is a great time to start a budget for 2017.
  • SAVE: review your savings plan from 2016. If you met your targets, consider whether you can maintain or revise your 2017 targets, based on any changes in your personal or family situation. Consider setting up automatic transfers to your savings accounts to make saving easier.
  • GROW: take the time to assess the performance of your investments (RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, mutual funds, GICs, etc.) in 2016, and write down any questions you may have for your financial advisor.
  • PROTECT: pull out all your insurance documents and check your policies (life, home, mortgage, renter’s, auto, critical illness/disability, etc.). Assess whether you still have adequate coverage, considering any changes in your personal or family circumstances, your property, and/or your possessions in 2016.
  • REDUCE: look for other ways to find savings with your finances, such as reducing the administration or banking fees that you pay. One good option is Coast Capital’s Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account, which has no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement, and no charge for day-to-day transactions. Visit a Coast Capital branch for a Where You’re At Money Chat to learn more.

“Coast Capital is passionate about helping Canadians with their finances, and this morning’s event is a perfect example of that,” explains Lawrie Ferguson, Chief Marketing Officer, Coast Capital Savings. “While this is an attention-grabbing way to spark those larger conversations on what financial well-being looks like, it’s also an example of how Coast Capital offers simple financial help, in this case help paying off a small portion or possibly all of your holiday bills with some extra cash.”

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership. An Imagine Canada Caring Company, the credit union invested $5.6 million into local communities in 2016, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club. It has 52 branches serving its 532,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit



For more information, including photo and video content of today’s event, please contact: 

Coast Capital Media Line:

Phone number: 778.391.6225
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