PayPal survey reveals 56% of Canadians will go over budget this holiday season

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  • Higher cost of living (55%) and prices (52%) are top reasons why Canadians will get festive frugally this year
  • Gen Zs are likely to overspend due to the desire to spoil their friends and family (41%) and themselves (20%)
  • “Festive Math” provides Canadians a smart approach to make the most out of their holiday budget

TORONTO, November 29th, 2023: Amid the rising costs-of-living, new research from PayPal revealed three quarters of Canadians (76%) surveyed will create a budget for their spending this year – but more than half (56%) will go over despite their best intentions.

PayPal’s 2023 Festive Spending Snapshot, polling 2,000 Canadian adults who celebrate the holiday season, unwrapped the many ways they are trying to curb their spending. Of those surveyed, 44 per cent are keeping an eye on price tags to prevent overspending or going into debt, and 25 per cent are setting a budget to avoid dipping into their savings. What’s more, 25 per cent of consumer respondents get ahead of their spending long before the decorations come out by putting money aside throughout the year for more expensive purchases.

Staying on budget is proving to be a challenge as nearly half (48%) anticipate overspending due to increased prices this year compared to previous years. This trend is more prominent among Gen Z shoppers, who are more likely to put their budget trackers aside because they want to spoil friends and family (41%) and themselves (20%).

“Despite good intentions to save where possible, Canadians are struggling to make holiday budgets work,” shared Malini Mitra, Director, Communications, PayPal Canada. “We’re encouraging Canadians to adopt ‘Festive Math,’ a budgeting approach whereby holiday shoppers plan a budget and stick to it. One of the ways they can do that is by shopping online and using PayPal to checkout and track online purchases and use Honey for discounts.”

Festive Math is a smart approach to budget management where Canadians plan wisely and stay within it with simple steps outlined in these tips and tricks.

Key Findings:

  • Rockin' around the budget tree with set limits: Among Canadians surveyed who have set budgets this holiday season, strategies like allocating budgets per person (42%) and setting price limits per person (41%) are approaches that will be used to help manage budgets.
  • Canadians plan to be merry within a budget: 37 per cent of Canadians surveyed report having a budget makes them feel less stressed and more relaxed during the holiday season and 29 per cent say they compare price tags when they find the perfect gift to get the best value.
  • Deck the halls with logic: Almost one in five (19%) agree that buying festive décor is a strategic investment given its annual use and 18 per cent agree that re-gifting unwanted presents is the ultimate saving hack for the holidays.
  • Creativity helps consumers sleigh and save: Redeeming loyalty points or rewards (32%), giving DIY gifts (17%), shopping second-hand (13%) and avoiding social gatherings (12%) are all ways Canadians are being smarter with their spending this year. Nearly one in three Canadians (29%) will pay for their holiday shopping in cash to keep track of purchases.

Survey Methodology 
PayPal’s 2023 Festive Spending Snapshot is an online survey of 2,000 Canadian adults who celebrate the holidays (nationally representative) conducted by OnePoll in November 2023.

About PayPal
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 400 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Malini Mitra,;

Ada Lovelace Rampersaud

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