We’re a thrifty bunch, we Canadians.
We love the idea of siphoning a bit of our earnings into a hidden savings account, letting them flourish beyond our grasp. In fact, 84 per cent of Canadians have some sort of savings – be it in RRSPs, investments or everyday bank accounts.
But as a President’s Choice Financial’s recent nationwide survey conducted by Leger Marketing points out, while the idea is there, Canadians are still finding it tough to commit to a savings plan. “It’s challenging for many Canadians, especially families, to balance spending and saving without having to constantly make sacrifices,” says author and TV personality Kathy Buckworth, Chief Family Advisor for President’s Choice Financial® and herself a mother of four, in a release with the highlight from the survey.
Debt is Top Reason for Slacking on Savings
According to the survey, 63 per cent of Canadians who are not saving say it’s because they simply don’t have enough money to do so, while another 68 per cent surveyed said they’ve recently had to curtail spending in response to higher living expenses or debt.
However, the report shows somewhat positive news on the debt front with 42 per cent of respondents saying they’ve lowered their debt while 30 per cent say their debt levels have hovered around the same and only a quarter of those surveyed have taken on more debt over the past year.
Those with debt are using it as a motivator with 73 per cent saying they’ve adjusted their spending habits as a result of their debt.
The group also showed a somewhat rosy outlook with 67 per cent saying they expect to have less debt at this time next year, while 10 per cent expect to accumulate more and 20 percent expect their debt to remain the same.
Optimism About Interest Rates
According to the survey, 53 per cent expect interest rates on their savings accounts to remain unchanged while 42 per cent expect the same of their investments.
With that being said, many predict interest rates (53 per cent), bank fees (61 per cent) and credit card fees (47 per cent) will rise.
But how are Canadians planning to get around the rising interest fees?
Buckworth recommends shopping around for savings accounts offering lower fees or higher rewards.
“Cutting bank fees while earning everyday rewards is a simple, convenient way to make your money work even harder for your family all year round,” she adds.
It seems many Canadians agree – 66 percent said they’d likely switch bank accounts or credit cards, if it meant they would have lower fees and get sweeter rewards.
So go out, dig around and see if you could get more for your buck – it might make saving more worthwhile.