Many Canadians who used credit to purchase holiday gifts last year are still paying off their debt as we head into the December holidays, a survey from NerdWallet Canada has revealed. 
Half of Canadians, at 51 per cent, purchased holiday gifts on credit last year and one in four of them said they have still not paid it off, according to the data released last week. 
In addition to carrying debt, Canadian consumers are tightening their spending budgets as they battle with heightened inflation.
Almost half of respondents to NerdWallet’s survey, at 48 per cent, said they will follow a strict budget this year, while 35 per cent said they will be spending less per person compared to years prior.
Twenty-three per cent said they will use coupons and cash back apps to do their shopping and another 33 per cent said they will only buy items on sale. 
The survey also found that 15 per cent of Canadians who are planning on buying holiday gifts this year intend to pick up a side hustle to help fund the expenses. 

NerdWallet also shared tips for Canadians ahead of the holiday season.
Consumers looking to follow spending plans should build a realistic budget based on the total amount of money they can spend, rather than budgeting around the price of the items they’d like to purchase, the personal finance company suggested.  
It also suggested tools for strategic shopping such as using credit card rewards to purchase gifts or using price tracker websites that can send discount codes to various retailers. 

This survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet Canada from October 3 - 5, 2023 among 1,021 Canadian adults ages 18 and older. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 3.6 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.