Gifts, Money and Turkeys!

2016-12-19   minute read

Lifestyle Debt

Christmas is fun and exciting. Stores are stocked up to the roof, decorated with glitter, and have carols playing all day…and night. We love making others happy with gifts and holiday experiences and we try to make everyone happy with something they really want.

A stack of gift boxes

We make a list. Is everyone on it? Are all the gifts age-appropriate? Did I just pick the gift of the year? And of course you need to add a turkey to the list! Then comes the tricky part! Find parking, find the gifts…find the turkey!

STOP! Did you plan a holiday budget? How will you pay for Christmas? Is there even any money left for that turkey, the stuffing, maybe some bubbly for New Year’s Eve?

A survey by Canadian Living shows that Canadian adults planned on spending an average of $766 for holiday gifts in 2015. That’s a lot of money, turkey not included. Some spend even more and this year will probably be no different.

Let’s say a family spends $1000... here goes paying it off.


CASH is King

Fixed loan

Credit cards

Amount owed




Interest rate




Monthly payment (minimum)

None, it’s paid.


3% of balance
($30, decreasing)

Interest charges




Time to pay

Zero, it’s paid.

12 months

125 months

It’s all about planning: you don’t want to pay for this year’s bird while you’re picking up next year’s.

  • If you use a credit card to pay for the gifts (secure and efficient when in stores or online), pay it off in full when the statement comes in. It’s like paying cash.
  • If you can’t pay it off in full and have good credit, talk to your banker and flip it to a loan and pay it off quickly (6 to 12 months). Some banks and credit unions offer small online loans that can be arranged in minutes.
  • Stay away from payday loans that can be very expensive. The Grinch is more fun to be with.

Now that 2016 is almost up, plan for Christmas of 2017. See that loan payment of $88.85? Double it! The first $88.85 goes to the loan payment, the other $88.85 goes to you, in a savings account; next year you’ll pay cash for Christmas!

With all the hype involved at Christmas, and even with the best budgeting advise, if you feel that the joy of the holidays is lost on your financial situation, come see one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees, we can find a solution that will help you get your financial health back. Think about the real possibility of paying cash for Christmas next year and feeling financially free.

No turkeys were harmed in the writing of this blog.
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