Ninety per cent of Canadians won’t be spending more this holiday season

Sun Life Financial survey finds most will spend the same or less than last year

Toronto, ON (Dec. 11, 2015) – Nine in 10 Canadians will spend the same or less on the holidays than they did one year ago, according to the 2015 Sun Life Financial Annual Check-Up, released today. Almost four in 10 (37 per cent) plan to spend less and just one per cent said their spending will be substantially higher this year.

“It seems Canadians have a more realistic view of their financial situation this year,” says Cindy Crean, Managing Director, Sun Life Global Investments. “A majority realize spending more this holiday season might not be the best tactic.”

The Annual Check-Up survey asked Canadians to compare the current state of their personal finances to that of last year. Survey highlights include:

  • 54 per cent are not financially better off than they were a year ago;
  • 66 per cent say their debt level is the same or worse than it was at this time last year; and
  • 64 per cent do not work with a financial advisor.

Debt continues to weigh on Canadians and is often to blame for the decreased spend.

“Canadians will spend less during the holidays this year because they are tapped out from a debt perspective,” says Sadiq Adatia, Chief Investment Officer, Sun Life Global Investments. “This decreased spending has negatively impacted the Canadian economy and is in contrast to what is happening in the United States where economic growth is being driven by increased consumer spending.”

Though 67 per cent of Canadians are optimistic about 2016, only 13 per cent said paying down debt is among their top three New Year’s resolutions. Just four per cent rank savings as a top resolution.

“Reducing debt and increasing savings might not be at the top of the resolution list, but they should be. The sooner people can address these financial goals, the better off they will be in the long run,” Crean added. “Working with a financial advisor and building a plan can put Canadians on better financial footing for the new year.”

About the survey

The results from the survey are based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 5 and 9, 2015. A sample of 1,277 Canadians, aged 18 to 80 years, was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel.

Ipsos Reid employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

The precision of Ipsos Reid online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within +/-3.1% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial

Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.

As of September 30, 2015, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $846 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc.

Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. brings together the strength of one of Canada’s most trusted names in financial services with some of the best asset managers from around the world. With a focus on risk management, our rigorous selection and monitoring process provides access to leading asset managers who use insight and innovation to manage high quality investment solutions for Canadian investors. Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. For more information, visit

SOURCE: About Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc.