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Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales can create a financial pitfall for consumers

November 21, 2013

(Toronto) November 21, 2013 - When money is tight, finding a great deal on a holiday wish-list item can seem especially attractive. But with consumer spending on the rise, the lure of the great deal can result in overspending and indebtedness.

“The ease of buying online makes it likely that the trend in over-spending will continue to rise and while there are an infinite number of reasons why people get into debt, spending beyond their means is where it all begins,” said David Wood, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals and President of Boale Wood Company Ltd., a Vancouver-based insolvency boutique firm. “Surveys in recent years have shown most Canadians don’t have a budget going into the holiday season; this is one of the biggest causes of financial problems.”

Last year spending by Canadians on Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw an overall increase of 6.5 per cent and 22.5 per cent respectively.  Recent figures from Statistics Canada show that online shopping has also risen, with 56 per cent of Internet users ordering goods and services online in 2012.

Mr. Wood, who is a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, has seen an increase in people coming to him for post-holiday spending help in February. “After the bills have come in and they’ve made it through a month of minimum payments, they suddenly realize the interest they’re incurring and the debt they have is more than they can handle.”

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