Canadians warned of ‘unconscious spending’ habits during holiday season

Vancouver CityNews reports that Canadians are being advised of their unconscious spending habits this holiday season as many cite having financial troubles in a new survey.

As Black Friday approaches, leading into the holiday season, Canadians are being warned about the purchases they make without even realizing it. A recent survey for Financial Planning Canada outlined these purchases, calling them “unconscious spending.”

The “Quiet Spend” survey indicated over half (51 per cent) of Canadians report being concerned about their finances. Despite that figure, the report shows few have done anything to change their spending habits.

“That’s what boggles a lot of professionals in my field,” said financial planner and partner with DLD Financial Group, Kelly Ho. “Finances are stressed, everything is going up in price, but no one seems to be doing anything about it.”

The unconscious spending habits outlined in the report include charging subscriptions to credit cards. Ho says that can put extra stress on many people’s finances.

“When I look at my clients’ cash flows — the amount of subscriptions that people have — it’s amazing how many people have subscriptions and what they amount to on a monthly basis,” she said.

More unconscious spending habits include bumping up online orders to get free shipping, and impulse buys at the checkout.

“You go ‘oh this is cool, it’s only three dollars.’ And if you go to five stores and pick up five three-dollar items, that’s an extra $15 that you didn’t go to a store to purchase,” Ho noted.

With Black Friday around the corner, Ho says it can lead to many spending much more than they expected.

“The statistics every year show that billions of dollars are spent on Black Friday — one for you and two for me,” she said. “You’re not aware that you’re spending it and you wonder why you don’t have any money left over and you’re wondering why you’re feeling stressed about money.”

To get a handle on finances, Ho recommends sitting down and having a hard look at spending with a financial professional.

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By Mike Lloyd – Posted Nov 21, 2022