BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

November 25, 2011 14:28 ET

Holiday Shopping Rush Begins-BMO Offers Tips for Shoppers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2011) - As Black Friday Fever hits consumers north and south of the border, BMO offers the following Do's and Don'ts to help shoppers make sense of their money, avoid overspending and save more this holiday season:

  • Do Cap your Spending - Build your budget as early as possible and revisit it often to lessen the impact of the holiday spending surge. Using online tools, such as BMO MoneyLogic, to set and track spending limits can help keep you on track.

  • Do Get a Head Start - While the majority of Canadians plan weeks or even months ahead for their holiday shopping (81 per cent), one in 10 consider themselves last-minute shoppers. By waiting until the last minute to get your holiday shopping finished, you risk over-spending, going over-budget and sometimes missing out on the gifts at the top of your list.

  • Do Spend Smart - Get the most out of your purchases this holiday season by using a credit or debit card that offers rewards for purchases at multiple retail locations. Combine this with programs such as the AIR MILES® Reward Program to accelerate your rewards earnings by allowing you to double dip, essentially earning rewards twice on the same purchase.

  • Do Take Advantage of Store Sales and Coupons - Overpaying is overspending. Many retailers will discount their merchandise from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, or more. Comparison shop and look for store sales to ensure you're getting the best price.

  • 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.

"Given the current challenges when it comes to managing the household balance sheet, it's important that Canadians put a budget in place and track their holiday spending to avoid over-extending - which can happen pretty quickly this time of year," says Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Online banking features, including tools such as BMO MoneyLogic™, allow Canadians to set spending limits and get immediate insights into whether or not they are staying on track."

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