Skip to main content

'Inflation isolation' may force Sask. families to scale down Christmas plans, expert says


As holiday shopping draws near – a recent study reveals the rising cost of living is taking a particularly large toll on Saskatchewan residents.

The steady rise in inflation and interest rates have created an ‘inflation isolation’ among Saskatchewan residents.

“People haven’t really changed anything, but the cost of living has gone up,” said Pamela Meger, an insolvency trustee with MNP.

A recent poll conducted by IPSOS shows that 61 per cent of Saskatchewan residents are staying home more often and isolating to save money.

Additionally, nearly half of residents in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba believe they won’t be able to cover their living and family expenses in the next 12 months.

“All of a sudden that money to go pay to your credit cards is all going towards groceries, to pay for gas,” Meger explained.

“The icing on the cake is that increase in [the] interest rate. So now your $200 doesn’t exist to go on your debt because what you do put on the debt goes to interest.”

This perfect storm of increased inflation and interest rates is certainly not going unnoticed by shoppers.

One woman grocery shopping at Walmart in Regina shared her frustration.

“For example cheese, I always buy for three or four dollars and now it’s for six dollars. That’s double the price and I’m getting tired of it because things are getting expensive and more expensive and I don’t see in the future the prices being low,” she explained.

Another shopper shared his empathy for those with families to support.

“A lot of people here struggle with making money, especially parents. Let’s say you have a single mom taking care of children, the prices need to be helpful for her so she can provide for her family, for her kids,” he said.

According to the study, two in five people report spending less time socializing in an attempt to save money.

Meger explained that there are always alternatives – if the thought of buying gifts for the holidays is creating anxiety.

“I think that’s what people need to focus on is spending those moments, going tobogganing, or just hanging out with your grandma or grandpa for a day,” she said.

“People need to focus on that because in today’s market it’s going to be difficult to afford a Christmas you maybe had a few years back.”

The ISPOS poll reported a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Top Stories

Stay Connected