Canadians plan to spend an average of $583 on gifts this holiday season, down from $643 last year, says a new survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The survey found, however, that one in five respondents expects to overspend this year. Nearly half said they experience added stress during the holidays, while forty-two per cent of Canadians admit to not having a budget for holiday spending.

"With more than half of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, even small financial miscalculations can have significant consequences,” says Doretta Thompson, financial literary leader, CPA Canada. “The good news is, it's never too late to start planning and monitoring your spending – it can go a long way to providing some peace of mind."

CPA Canada provided some tips to make the holiday season less financially stressful. Among these, the organization recommends that consumers start saving early to pay for holiday time expenses. It also recommends creating a spending budget and sticking to it. “Set spending targets for gifts, travel and entertaining; write them down and keep track of your spending as you shop,” advises the association.