Many Manitobans exceeded December holiday budgets, poll finds



More than a third of Manitobans exceeded their holiday budget last December, according to a new RBC poll.

Thirty-five per cent of Manitobans and Saskatchewanians said they went over budget, according to an RBC post-holiday spending survey released Thursday. The national average was 33%.

However, Manitobans are among those who have crossed the line the least.

On average, Manitobans spent $320 more than expected last December. Across Canada, the number jumped to $414.

Manitobans and their neighbors in Saskatchewan were also the most likely to say their finances were now on track.

“It comes down to people sticking to their savings habits throughout the year,” said Flora Do, vice-president, term investments and savings, RBC. “(It) will help them get through those emotional spending spikes, whether it’s during the holidays or other times of the year.”

She attributed the emotions during the pandemic-era second holiday – when people expected to see more family before they were restricted – to soaring spending.

But Canadians who blew their budget went less far than they did during the 2020 holiday season. Afterwards, they had spent an average of $588 more, compared to the extra $414 last December. .

The pandemic has hit Manitoba’s healthcare system hard; that could be reflected in vacation spending, Do noted.

“Maybe it’s affected (Manitobans’) caution about making sure they have savings for rainy days, so they can prevent future unforeseen circumstances,” she said.

Thirty per cent of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan said they would cut back on discretionary spending, such as entertainment, to cover holiday expenses. Six percent said they didn’t know how they would pay the bills, just below the national average of seven percent.

Residents of the two Prairie provinces reported spending the most on electronics, averaging $175. Gifting experiences for family and friends comes in second, at $116 on average, and gift cards come in third at $93.

Manitobans and Saskatchewanians were the least likely to say they would use “found” money for treatment. Fourteen percent said they would, compared to the national average of 20%. Instead, the most popular answer for locals in the Prairies was to pay off the debt (30%).

RBC engaged Ipsos to conduct the online survey. Two thousand people responded from January 4 to 6. The results are accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Gabrielle Piche

Gabrielle Piche
Journalist

Gabby is a huge fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

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