British Columbians spending less money this holiday season

An ornament on a Christmas tree in a shopping mall is shown. (CTV)

Cutting back this holiday season is something four in 10 British Columbians say they plan on doing.

A survey done by TD Bank found that consumer spending is being impacted by the current economic climate.

Inflation was the reason 86 per cent of those surveyed said they’ll be reducing their consumption this season.

“That’s actually the highest in Canada,” said to Mick Ramos, of the TD Bank Group.

“Within your own household, have that money talk. It might be a little uncomfortable, but we’re all feeling the pinch.”

Nearly half of respondents to the survey (47 per cent) said they don’t have extra money to spend on seasonal celebrations this year. Due to the increasing cost of food, 61 per cent of British Columbians say they’ll be putting their money towards groceries instead.

For those struggling, Ramos also suggests sticking to a budget.

“Talking openly about your holiday spending, you’re able to set clear limits and ensure everyone’s happy on Christmas Day,” he said. “Write out a list of everyone you plan on buying a gift for, set out a maximum spend, but also zoom out and take a look at other expenses you might incur over the holidays, whether its entertaining costs or charitable expenses.”

Tighter household budgets mean less spending at local businesses, according to Jane McFadden, the executive director of the Kitsilano Business Improvement Association.

“It’s a make it or break it time for a lot of retailers,” she said. “People are not skipping Christmas or Hanukkah. They’re still shopping for the holiday season, but they’re spending less. That Secret Santa we do at holiday parties, that gift has dropped from a $50 gift to a $20 gift, to be more affordable.”

She encouraged consumers to continue to do their shopping locally.

“Whether you’re shopping on West 4th or Granville or downtown on Robson Street, it’s still in that local economy, which is fueling businesses that are owned by families,” she said.

Source: CTV News