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Financial Literacy Month-BMO's Tip of the Day: Create a Holiday Budget to Avoid Overspending


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, BMO Bank of Montreal is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of BMO's commitment to 'Making Money Make Sense', the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day-to-day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Create a budget to avoid overspending during the holiday season.

Canadians are in the spending spirit this year and expect to spend an average of $1,610 this holiday season, according to the 2012 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook. Further, more than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed say they often fall victim to impulse spending during the holiday season.

Creating a holiday budget as early as possible and revisiting it often can help keep your holiday spending in check.

"The holidays are often an expensive time of year, and it can be easy to lose track of other financial priorities. It's essential to put a few parameters in place for holiday spending to avoid overextending yourself," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Putting a holiday-specific budget in place ahead of time that sets clear spending limits can keep Canadians from overspending."

Ms. McVey added that Canadians should take advantage of online tools and resources to manage their finances during the holiday season. For example, BMO MoneyLogic is a free, online personal financial management tool that enables customers to create budgets, as well as set and track spending limits.

"CFEE commends BMO's ongoing efforts to support Financial Literacy in Canada and promote ways in which Canadians can increase their competence and confidence when managing their personal finances on a day-to-day basis," said Gary Rabbior, President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE).

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Maximizing TFSA investments annually over 20 years can save nearly $30,000 in taxes.

November 2: Utilize rewards to squeeze the most value out of every dollar you spend this holiday season.

November 3: Choose an investment advisor who is right for you and will help you meet your financial goals.

November 4: Use your RRSP to help make the down payment on your first home.

November 5: Space out payments to avoid cash-flow problems.

November 6: Take advantage of the benefits of preferred shares.

November 7: Consider investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and taking advantage of tax incentives when saving for retirement.

November 8: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.

November 9: Before you head off on your winter vacation, be sure you and your family are properly covered in the event of a medical emergency.

November 10: Understand what you can hold in your RRSP.

November 11: Stick to the one-third rule when planning the purchase of a home.

November 12: Secure your retirement by opening a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) as early as possible and contribute to it on a regular basis.

November 13: As couples prepare for their wedding day, they should have "The Financial Talk" to help the transition from "my money" to "our money."

November 14: Using a combination of a credit card, debit card and cash will give you convenience, security and flexibility when you travel or shop in the United States.

November 15: Give the gift of securities and benefit from tax savings.

November 16: To stay on track to reach your financial goals, keep a well-diversified investment portfolio.

November 17: Take advantage of spousal RRSPs.

November 18: Take advantage of credit cards that offer affordable emergency medical travel insurance.

November 19: Parents-to-be should consider their financial situation before the Big Day.

November 20: Use the tax refund generated by your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution to pay down your mortgage.

November 21: Save for your child's education by investing monthly Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) cheques in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

November 22: Save for your child's education by encouraging friends and family to contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) this holiday season.

November 23: Bringing your lunch to work can help you save for retirement.

November 24: Creating a financial plan, which includes an emergency fund, can help you plan for tomorrow's unforeseen expenses and avoid incurring high interest debt.

November 25: Say "I do" to keeping the costs of your wedding under control.

November 26: Savvy students know to pay off their credit card balance in full each month and take advantage of rewards and discounts to save money.

November 27: Consider consolidating high-interest debt into a line of credit to save on interest costs and become debt-free sooner.

November 28: Small business owners should take advantage of applicable year-end tax strategies to minimize 2012 tax costs.

For more on financial literacy, Canadians can visit the Government of Canada's Financial Literacy Month website, as well as BMO's Financial Literacy online resource.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media contacts:
Jessica Park, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
jessica1.park@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia