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From Angus Reid Institute

Inflation: Christmas deflated, charitable giving cut

Half say they’re worse off now than this time last year when it comes to personal finances

December 5, 2022 – As snow blankets most of the country, Canadians are simultaneously trying to dig out from under the inflation that has burdened them for most of the year. With holiday preparations underway, many are cutting back on seasonal spending.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds more than half of Canadians (56%) report that they will be spending less on Christmas, including presents and entertaining.

These decisions are most prominent among those with lower income levels. Approximately three-in-five (61%) of those earning less than $50,000 annually say they are spending less on presents and decorating this year. Fewer than half, but still 45 per cent of those whose household incomes are above $200,000 say the same.

These same financial challenges will likely impact many struggling charities this holiday season. Approaching two-in-five (37%) say they have scaled back charitable giving in recent months, including two-in-five (41%) of those over the age of 54, an age group that has historically donated more.

All this comes at the end of one of the most financially difficult years in recent memory for many Canadians. Half (50%) say they are financially worse off now than they were at this time last year, the highest level seen in ARI’s tracking dating back to 2010. Few (13%) have seen their financial picture brighten in the last 12 months.

There is not much in the way of personal financial optimism among Canadians as they look ahead to 2023, either. One-in-five (20%) believe their economic situation will improve in the next 12 months. Twice as many (41%) believe they’ll tread water, while three-in-ten (31%) see their finances deteriorating.

All things considered, do you think you are financially better off or worse off than you were a year ago?

More Key Findings


Despite the province cutting residents a $500 affordability cheque in the fall, three-in-five (59%) in Saskatchewan say they are in worse financial shape now than they were a year ago, the highest proportion in the country.

Discretionary Spending

Two-thirds of Canadians (64%) say they have cut back on discretionary spending in recent months, up from 57 per cent in August. Overall, approaching nine-in-ten (87%) say they have cut back spending in some way recently, up from 80 per cent in August.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Nov. 28-30, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 2,774 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Colin Lloyd/Unsplash

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit

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