The Last-Minute Club: BMO Report Shows More Canadians Got a

The Last-Minute Club: BMO Report Shows More Canadians Got a Head
Start on Holiday Shopping 
- BMO Holiday Spending Survey shows consumers are better prepared for
holiday shopping now than in 2011, with most planning weeks or months
in advance  
- However, three per cent of Canadians still consider themselves
last-minute shoppers  
- Men more likely to wait until December to start (38 per cent versus
21 per cent of women) 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/24/12 -- According to the BMO
Holiday Spending Survey, fewer Canadians are waiting until the last
minute to cross names off of their holiday shopping list, with the
majority planning their shopping weeks or months in advance (26 per
cent and 68 per cent respectively).  
However, three per cent don't begin their holiday shopping until the
last minute, leaving themselves only a short time to wrap up their
gift giving.  
"With Canadian families balancing busier schedules more than ever
before, it's no surprise that a few shoppers will be rushing around
at the last-minute. However, this last-minute rush can often cause
people to make impulse decisions and sometimes over-spend on gift
buying," said Janet Peddigrew, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal.
"Planning and establishing a budget early on to cap and track holiday
spending can help avoid last-minute spending pitfalls."  
Ms. Peddigrew added that online banking features, including tools
such as BMOMoneyLogic(TM), allow Canadians to set spending limits and
get immediate insights into whether or not they are staying on track. 
BMO Bank of Montreal offers the following Do's and Don'ts for the
frantic, time-crunched holiday shopper: 
Don't Panic - You still have time to get everything done. Keep your
shopping list handy at all times and try to pick up one or two items
when you can - either during your lunch hour or after work. A call
ahead to the retailer can confirm whether or not your item is in
stock. Ask them to hold it for you so you can get in and out of the
store quickly. 
Do Check Return Policies - Don't forget to check the retailer's
return policy before making a purchase. Knowing the return policy can
help ease the stress of last-minute shopping and help safeguard
against the consequences of making impulse gift purchases. 
Don'
t get Scrooged when you Shop Online - Shopping online can save
you time and money, but stick to reputable sites and beware of sites
you don't know. Pay close attention to shipping dates and build in
extra delivery time so you won't be disappointed. For added
protection, consider purchasing your gifts with a credit card that
offers some form of insurance, which will cover you if gifts you buy
get lost, stolen or broken. 
Do Cap your Spending - Develop a budget and stick to it. The pressure
of last minute shopping can cause shoppers to make impulse decisions
and often spend more than necessary. Set a budget for each family
member and ask them to make a list of gifts that fall within the
allotted amount, which will help you set a realistic expectation and
ensure you don't over-spend. 
Do Take Advantage of Store Sales and Coupons - Overpaying is
overspending. The one upside for last-minute shoppers is that
retailers are often anxious to clear their inventory before December
25th; watch for significant sales. Many retailers will discount their
merchandise from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, or more. Take the time
to comparison shop and look for store sales to ensure you're getting
the best price. 
Do Use a Credit Card and Debit Card that Rewards you for your
Purchases - Use a debit or credit card affiliated with a loyalty
program to earn rewards for purchases at retailers. The BMO AIR MILES
bank account or BMO AIR MILES World credit card allows you to
accelerate rewards earnings and significantly enhance the value of
every dollar spent by allowing you to "double dip" - essentially
earning rewards twice on the same purchase when you use your
Collector Card along with one of these forms of payment at AIR MILES
Sponsor locations. 
For more details on BMO MoneyLogic, visit www.bmo.com/moneylogic, and
for more details on how to save, borrow and spend smartly, visit
www.bmo.com/smartsteps.  
The survey results cited in the 2012 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook
conducted by Pollara are compiled from a random sample of 1,000
Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 11 and October 16,
2012. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate
to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  
About BMO Financial Group 
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more
than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
solutions.
Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Matt Duffin, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
matthew.duffin@bmo.com 
Lise Lapointe, Montreal
(514) 877-7251
lise.lapointe@bmo.com 
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com 
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia
 
 
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