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Poll reveals nearly half of British Columbians surveyed will not set a holiday spending budget
Coast Capital encourages consumers to avoid over spending this holiday season by planning ahead

VANCOUVER, BC - As we approach the holiday season, a new poll hosted on the Angus Reid Forum for Coast Capital Savings reports 85 per cent of British Columbians surveyed feel it’s important to have a holiday spending budget, yet only 16 per cent say they will set an exact budget.

The Angus Reid Forum online survey of 805 BC adults (in Greater Vancouver and on Vancouver Island) to gather opinions on holiday shopping was conducted between November 1-5, 2019.

The survey reveals that, on average, British Columbians surveyed expect they will spend $921 this holiday season, through a combination of gifts, parties and outings, charitable donations, gifts for themselves and holiday decorations. This compares to an average of $954 last year.

While 16 per cent of respondents say they will set an exact budget this holiday season, 35 per cent say they will set a loose budget and likely spend more than planned, while 49 per cent will not set a spending budget at all.

“The temptation to spend beyond our means during the holiday season is something we can all relate to, “said Rachel Coyle, Vice President Retail Operations, Coast Capital Savings. “The survey suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians surveyed are typically surprised by how much they spend at this time of year. It really underlines why it is important to plan ahead, establish a budget, and build in some flexibility that allows you to do something special for yourself or a loved one.”

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents say they expect to pay off their holiday bills within the first month, and almost half of respondents (49%) feel holiday spending will put a bit of pressure on their household finances, with nine per cent feeling a lot of pressure.

Participants also highlighted a number of ways in which they will try and keep spending down, including placing a dollar limit on gift giving, making personalized gifts or crafts, limit the number of purchases for themselves, and spending quality time with friends and family instead of exchanging gifts.

*The margin of error for the study was +/- 3.45 percentage points.

About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to become a federal credit union. Owned by its 572,000 members, Coast Capital offers banking and investment services digitally and through its 52 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia. An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a Certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, Coast Capital invests 10 per cent of its bottom line in youth-focused community organizations, programs, partnerships and events. The credit union has been recognized as one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and holds a Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. Coast Capital has a history of introducing innovative products to help their members achieve financial wellbeing including Canada’s first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution and Help Extras®, enabling members to invest in their future. To learn more, visit


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