The 5 Commandments of Seasonal Spending


When Shoppers Drug Mart turned up the Christmas tunes the very day the calendar flipped to November, a few people went a little, well, ballistic…or at least they showed enough consumer vehemence that Shoppers canned the music “until further notice.” But while thousands of indignant customers complained on Shoppers’ Facebook wall about Christmas creep and commercialism, the reality is that Christmas music or not, many of us overspend. According to the Bank of Montreal’s 2012 Holiday Spending outlook, survey respondents plan to spend an average of $1,610 dollars (each!) this holiday season, 15 percent more than last year.

But while a better economy has left many Canadians feeling more flush than in years past, our debt levels are at an eight-year high, standing at more than $26,000 per person (and that doesn’t include the mortgage). For many of us, this means that when it comes to holiday shopping, we probably can’t afford nearly as much as we’d like to be able to spend. The question is, how to side-step the sweet seduction of holiday shops? You can start by following these five commandments for fiscally responsible holiday spending in my new post on


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