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Poll results suggest British Columbians surveyed did not follow through on intentions to set holiday budget

Vancouver, BC – A poll hosted on the Angus Reid Forum for Coast Capital Savings suggests 29 per cent of British Columbians surveyed established a 2019 holiday spending budget – well below the 51 per cent who responded in a November survey that they would do so.

The online survey hosted on the Angus Reid Forum of 616 BC adults (in Greater Vancouver and on Vancouver Island) to gather opinions on holiday shopping, was conducted between December 26-28, 2019. This followed a similar poll, conducted between November 1-5, 2019 to establish pre-holiday season spending opinions.

On average, respondents suggest they spent $1,044 this holiday season, more than the $921 survey participants estimated in November. The vast majority of holiday spending ($638) represented gifts for others and $267 for charitable donations.

While less than one-third of respondents established a budget this holiday season, 82 per cent agree it’s important to set a spending budget.

The survey also revealed that 82 per cent of British Columbians surveyed are not willing to go into debt during the holiday season. However, 25 per cent suggest they spent too much during the recent holiday period and 50 per cent expect seasonal spending will put pressure on their household finances.

69 per cent are paying for their holiday purchases with a credit card – and 78 per cent expect to pay it off right away while 22 per cent say it will take more than one month to do so

“There is always going to be pressure to spend beyond our means during the holiday season and that is why a budget is so important,” said Rachel Coyle, Vice President Retail Operations, Coast Capital Savings. “It’s never too early to start giving thoughtful consideration and planning for the next holiday season – and reaching out to a trusted financial advisor at Coast Capital or another financial institution to help establish and fulfill your budget and saving goals.”

The post-holiday survey reveals that 53 per cent of British Columbians spent about the same amount as they did last year, 26 per cent spent less, and 21 per cent spent more. Respondents also say they spent more on gifts, holiday travel and charitable donations this year, but less on parties and holiday decorations.

The margin of error for the post-holiday survey was +/- 3.8 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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