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Your ultimate holiday savings guide, courtesy of PC Financial

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Have a bigger list of responsibilities this year? PC Financial Mastercards can help you earn points to offset your expenses

Your ultimate holiday savings guide, courtesy of PC Financial

There’s no other way to spin it: the holidays are pricey, and even more so if you’re suddenly taking on new responsibilities. Half of Canadians under 35 will have a holiday “first” this year (think: buying for in-laws, a new nephew or hosting extended family for a Hanukkah feast), though few will be prepared for the financial impact. To help out, we’ve prepared a handy savings guide with PC Financial, which can help you earn as many points as possible and ultimately offset your extra expenses. Because as lit as you’d like your holiday shindig to be this year, it’s not worth the January credit card debt (even if it does have real turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree). Here, a few tips for surviving the holiday season financially:

Start saving, like, now If you know you’re going to need to get your niece a sweet present to lock in favourite uncle status, or that you’re attending a dozen Christmas parties that require host gifts, you should be trying to build up a bit of a reserve fund while things are still relatively quiet. Apparently, only 38 per cent of Torontonians put aside more than $500 for the holidays—which makes it easy to understand why everyone gets so stressed about all the last-minute spending. If you start putting aside even $100 per week until Christmas, it’ll make you feel way less anxious down the road.

Load up on points with a PC Financial Mastercard Seriously, these things are like magic when it comes to maximizing your rewards. PC Financial just ranked highest in customer satisfaction with credit card companies by J.D. Power.* There are no annual fees on any of the three PC Financial Mastercards, and cardholders earn PC Optimum points with every purchase they make on the card—plus even more at Loblaw affiliate stores. There are a few higher-end card options, too, and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard (for anyone who makes more than $80,000 a year) lets cardholders earn three times the points for every dollar you spend at Loblaw grocery stores, and a whopping 45 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart, still with no annual fee!

Your ultimate holiday savings guide, courtesy of PC Financial

Shop for gifts at Joe Fresh, Shoppers and Loblaws For those looking to make the most out of their rewards in the near future, it (literally) pays to shop for gifts at the Loblaw family of brands—especially when you have a PC Financial Mastercard. You can either stock up on points or use them to buy even more gifts. And in case you haven’t heard, the range of affiliate stores is bigger than ever, so you’re guaranteed to find presents for everyone on your list. Card points can be redeemed on everything from Joe Fresh apparel and Shoppers cosmetics to Loblaws groceries and you can collect even more when you stop at Esso gas (because all that shopping-related driving can add up).

There are some especially great finds available right now. For instance, this faux-fur cropped coat is perfect for any pint-sized fashionistas in your life, while this subtly festive men’s sweater is guaranteed a prime spot in any recipient’s winter rotation. At Shoppers, there are cult products galore for the beauty junkies on your list, like Benefit’s brow kit or Clarins’ men’s grooming collection. Got someone extra picky? Micellar water is all the rage these days.

Your ultimate holiday savings guide, courtesy of PC Financial

When it comes to meal planning, Loblaws has everything you could ever imagine for the ultimate holiday feast, including the freshest produce, top-quality meats and gourmet desserts that can totally pass as homemade. They also have a robust homewares section, which, at this time of the year, is overflowing with festive Christmas décor like eucalyptus wreaths, glittery stockings and tons of tree ornaments. It’s basically a one-stop-shop for any dinner party hosts.

Buy your smartphones at The Mobile Shop Someone in your life need a new smartphone this holiday season? Shoppers may not realize that their local Loblaws or Real Canadian Superstore is also one of the best places to shop for smartphones and accessories. Since The Mobile Shop carries a range of phones and providers, shoppers can feel confident they’re getting the best, most unbiased advice about the plans and devices that will work for them. And, if you do purchase a phone there, you can earn up to 300,000 PC Optimum points for it. (That’s a lot of Joe Fresh down jackets.)

*PC Financial received the highest score in the 2018 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study of customers’ satisfaction with their primary card. Visit jdpower.com/awards.

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