Rachael Ramos

Silhouette Writer

When one thinks of holidays, thoughts invariably turn to the economic aspects of those days, with consumerism being at the forefront of any celebration.

But the holidays are now over which means it’s time for the recovery period from holiday consumption. In a year of economic uncertainty, interest in Christmas holiday spending, shopping, buying, and retail sales predictions were particularly strong in 2011.

According to Statistics Canada, December is traditionally the most important month for many retailers. Christmas is a time of giving and you may be spending excessively, possibly even going over your budget without even knowing.

Then after all the pre-Christmas spending comes boxing day, which means more holiday consumption adding to your visa bills. The 2006 holiday season, with its Ho Ho Hos and Merry Christmas cheer, saw around $28.7 billion spent in retail stores in the month of December alone. So how does one recover from all the holiday shopping sprees?

The first thing you need to consider is set realistic goals for the year ahead, in regard to financial management. Post-holiday financing woes can be difficult to overcome, if the proper steps and a financial plan are not in place.

“If you keep yourself organized and plan ahead, you’re probably not likely to get caught up in the consumerism of the holidays,” says Gina Stornetta, blogger for Disfunkshion magazine.

It’s a new year so you’re basically starting from the beginning to increase your savings account or paying down your visa card(s), once again. It’s time to start saving and spending smart; know your limits, spend within them and save the rest.

According to a recent survey released by BMO on Wednesday, consumer trends for the 2011 holiday season depict optimistic results with 76 per cent of households spending less or the same time on holiday gifts, trips and entertaining than in 2010.

“The latest numbers are a very positive sign that Canadian households are both setting realistic spending limits, and also staying on budget, which is especially important during a busy spending period like the holidays,” says Vice President of Bank of Montreal, Su McVey. “This also indicates that most Canadians are starting 2012 on the right foot, without holiday debt loads getting in the way of their big picture financial responsibilities or aspirations.”

Christmas just passed and I’m sure you got everything you wanted or needed thus don’t be tempted to do more shopping, especially if you’re a student with a limited income.

Maria Parker, McMaster Humanities student, says, “It’s rough, being a student and working part-time, with the income I earn from my minimum wage job, it hard to save because even eating out is expensive,” says Maria Parker, McMaster Humanities student.

Saving money for a student can be difficult, but even putting away $50 every paycheck to your savings can add up for that rainy day when you’ll need it most. BMO suggests tracking your spending and spending only what you have to help keep your financial priorities on track heading into 2012.

According to National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers planned to spend an average of $832.36 on holiday-related shopping, up a paltry 1.9 percent over last year’s $816.69.

Consumption and consumerism will always play a part in cipro price our daily lives but you must take control of your financial spending, so you don’t end up in a hole deeper than expected. It seems the holidays exist to enhance the economic stability of the marketplace.

About 97 per cent of Canadians buy presents, and holidays generate 19 per cent of all annual retail. So if you don’t make too much money and you spent all your earnings by getting sucked into the consumer frenzy of buying gifts for the family and friends, remember to make a budget, check it twice, and stay focus to ensure you’re keeping yourself right on financial track to financial stability.

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