Parents in Quebec plan to spend less this year on presents, says a survey released by Universitas.

More specifically, nearly half (45%) have budgeted less than $100 per child. And, overall, most (74%) say the total value of all gifts this holiday season will be less than $250.

In comparison, about 40% expected to spend between $250 and $1,000 on their kids in 2012.

In most households, adds the survey, mothers plan to spend no more than $100 per child, while fathers are willing to spend as much as $250.

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If family members are sending gifts for children, parents between the ages of 35 and 54 prefer cash (46%) and gift cards (44%). Meanwhile, younger parents (those aged 18 to 34 years) prefer clothing (49%) and toys (45%).

Outside of these traditional gifts, parents like to receive vouchers for family outings (57%) or contributions to kids’ RESPs (25%). The interest in the latter is highest among parents between the ages of 35 and 54 (71%), and among respondents with family incomes of between $40,000 and $60,000 per year (74%).

Budgeting tips

In a separate release today, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario offered a list of spending and saving tips for families. These include:

  • make a list of what you want, and then pare it down based on what you and your family need;
  • stick to realistic budgets to avoid going into debt;
  • set savings aside ahead of shopping trips;
  • compare in-store and online prices, and take advantage of online sales; and
  • consider giving homemade gifts.


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