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Financial anxiety dampens Holiday spending plans

According to a number of surveys, Canadians plan on spending less and buying fewer presents this year.

A recent survey by the Bank of Montreal showed that Canadians are looking to scale back.

In total, 78 per cent of respondents said they plan on buying fewer gifts this Holiday season, with more than a quarter reducing the number of people on their gift lists.

Another 37 per cent are not confident they'll be able to afford everything on their list.

Gayle Ramsay with BMO Financial Group said the financial anxiety is real.

"There is about 81-per-cent overall financial situation they're worried about,” Ramsey said.

“They're worried about the housing costs they have, also a bit about their credit card and debit."

Small businesses like Wood, Resin & Lye in the Sault's downtown rely heavily on sales from the Holiday season. The owners hope shoppers think about where their money goes for each present purchased.

"Back into the community, put it back into other people's pockets that you know -- your neighbours, your friends, your family even,” said owner Mike McAdams.

“Do we really need Amazon to have 10 times more sales? No."

The reason so many people are scaling back on Holiday shopping comes down to the almighty dollar, which doesn't go as far as it used to.

"The inflation is going up,” one person said.

“You look at the cost in the grocery stores, even the marketing now for Christmastime. If you look at the prices from last year, its $70 to $100 more than what it was."

The average Canadian said it will take them three months to pay off their Holiday bills. And nearly a quarter surveyed don't think they'll be able to erase those debts.

Financial experts say, in this case, less spending can be good for the economy if it leads to fewer credit card-induced bankruptcies. Top Stories

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