The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has released a new survey on the state of Canadian household finances and depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full kind of person or the pessimistic type, you can take the results as a sign that Canadians have a pretty good a handle on our money, or that our household debt problem isn’t getting any better.
Among the findings is the fact that more women worry about money than men: 55 per cent versus 45 per cent.
Those aged 35-44 worried significantly more about money than those of retirement age: 62 per cent to 35 per cent. That may not come as a surprise, since those aged 35-44 are the demographic most likely to include parents with young children and big mortgages. But it also seems like a good sign that Canadians aren’t heading into their retirement completely broke (though how much of their financial nest egg is based on the current value their homes wasn’t part of the survey).
Meanwhile, half of Canadians said paying down their debt was a high priority — which means that long-term low interest rates have turned half of us into profligate spenders, or have helped half the country get tough on our debt. It might be the latter, considering less than half of those surveyed said they were concerned about lowering their interest rates.
Another 59 per cent said that buying only what they could afford was a high priority. This sounds great but it also means 41 per cent of us like to buy things we can’t afford. That’s backed up by the fact that just 38 per cent said that saving was a high priority.
At the very least, it seems the consumer-driven economy may not be headed over a cliff anytime soon.