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2015 Media Releases

Ring in the New Year Debt-Free with Holiday Savings & Budget Tips from CPA Ontario

Toronto (December 9, 2015) – To help with your 2015 holiday season budget, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) is offering a collection of holiday season savings and budget tips to help people ring in the New Year debt free or, if you still get caught up in seasonal spending, learning how to get out from under that debt in 2016.

CPA Ontario will post savings tips through social media each business day from December 8 to 23 as the year-end approaches. A new series of budget tips will start in the New Year, beginning on Monday, January 5.

“A lot of people wish they could avoid the January blues that come when their post-holiday credit card bills start arriving,” said Chartered Professional Accountant Doug McLarty, a partner with MNP LLP in Ottawa. “One proven way to avoid running up debt that you can’t pay is to make a budget before you start your holiday shopping. Decide how much you can afford to spend and then figure out how you are going to spend it by assigning a budget for each gift on your holiday. This isn’t being cheap; this is being smart. Be sure that you set a portion of your budget aside for other items or unexpected expenses like a new dress or suit for a special  party, extra taxi money or hostess gifts for last-minute get-togethers.”

Tips – The enclosed tip sheet highlights factors for keeping a keen financial perspective on personal spending during the holidays in order to avoid the stress of debt in the coming months, including:

  • Making a list and check it twice – paring it down to purchase the gifts you need.
  • Planning what is needed ahead of time so you’re ready to pay for it.
  • Keeping spending realistic, understanding what you can and cannot afford.
  • Setting saving aside for holiday spending.
  • Checking prices to take advantage of online sales.
  • Making baked and handmade gifts.
  • Hosting personalized dinners vs. the big expense of restaurant spending during the holidays.
  • Purchasing gifts over time vs. last-minute shopping.
  • Giving the gift of time and spending more of it with the people you love.
  • Making a debt payment plan and sticking with it.
  • Paying off holiday credit card debt, starting with the ones with the highest interest rate.
  • Cutting costs to help pay down debt as soon as possible.
  • Paying debt on time so as not to impact your credit rating.

Another important aspect of managing debt is to know when to seek professional help. CPAs can help manage your finances, develop a debt management plan, assist you with RRSPs and other investments, and provide bankruptcy-related advice and services.

The takeaway – Manage your debt over the holiday season, spend wisely, share the holidays with friends and family, and be sure that there is money left in your pocket come January 1, 2016.

Looking for a subject matter expert? Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) are available to speak to media about spending, savings, investments and debt during the holiday season. CPAs are recognized and respected accounting professionals who are highly valued for their financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership.

About the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
CPA Ontario protects the public interest by ensuring its members meet the highest standards of integrity and expertise. CPA Ontario serves and supports its more than 85,000 members and 23,000 students in their qualification and professional development in a wide range of senior positions in public accounting, business, finance, government, not-for-profits and academe. Chartered Professional Accountants are valued by organizations of all types and sizes for their financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership.

For more information, please contact:
Perry Jensen
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
416-969-4271 or 1-800-387-0735, ext. 4271