Close-up of payment machine buttons with human hand holding plastic card near by
© Dmitriy Shironosov / 123RF Stock Photo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and potentially the most difficult for sticking to a budget.

More than one-quarter of Canadians (26%) exceed their spending limits when shopping for the holidays, with an additional 40% “sometimes” exceeding their holiday budgets, says a report from LowestRates.ca. Survey respondents were users of the LowestRates.ca website, which offers personal finance products.

Only 14% reported being always on budget during the holidays, and 16% admitted to not setting a budget at all.

Further, almost 40% will be left with debt when the season ends, with one in five (20%) hanging on to that debt for up to two months; 12%, for two to four months; and 8%, for up to one year.

The report also finds that most Canadians use credit cards to make their purchases (63%), so knowing the features of those cards is important. Cards with lower interest rates or larger cash-back plans can make a significant difference at this time of year, LowestRates.ca CEO Justin Thouin said in a release.

About the report: LowestRates.ca examined responses from 1,378 of their users to an online survey about credit card usage during the holiday season. The survey was issued via email to Canadians who had opted in to receive communications from the website.