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Uncertainty Does Little To Curb Spending as Canadians Take On More Personal Debt

At the beginning of the year, a growing number of Canadians indicated that debt repayment was going to be a priority in 2015. Despite good intentions, the summer weather seems to have changed those priorities. According to a recent Ipsos Reid/BDO Canada Limited poll, nearly one-third of Canadians admitted to taking on additional personal debt since May. Some additional findings from the summer spending poll include:

  • 22 per cent of Canadians went over their summer budgets
  • Almost one-third didn’t set a summer spending budget to begin with
  • Millennials and parents were most likely to overspend

The good news is that nearly half of poll respondents (46 per cent) said they were able to stick to their summer spending budgets, which likely meant they were able to continue practicing good spending and saving habits.

What’s concerning is that, despite the country slipping into a technical recession, Canadians continued to overspend and take on debt – potentially increasing the strain and stress felt as we move into the fall. This disconnect between the economic realities of the country and our own personal finances needs to be addressed. Tough economic times put strain on all aspects of our lives from personal relationships to job security to ability to repay debt. Now more than ever, all Canadians need to take an active role in improving their own level of financial literacy.

Fortunately, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has introduced a new initiative – the National Strategy for Financial Literacy. The goal of this initiative is to help Canadians better manage their finances. We encourage you to check out the FCAC website for tools and resources on all things financial – from applying for your first mortgage to planning for retirement to options for debt help.   If you currently carry debt, we also encourage you to take a financial health test. Knowing the status of your finances, whether bad or good, is an important step towards better money and debt management.

If you’ve taken the stress test and are concerned that you might be facing debt problems, it is important to speak with your family and then seek professional help from a Bankruptcy Trustee. Making sure that your family understands your financial situation can make it easier when it comes to implementing and following a monthly budget. A Bankruptcy Trustee in Edmonton can work with you to develop a debt help plan that may include exploring a debt consolidation loan, consumer proposal, or possibly bankruptcy. None of these options should be looked at with fear or shame as they are all designed to help you get back on a better financial foundation to eventually become debt free.

Make sure you are practicing good spending and saving habits this fall and challenge yourself to learn something new related to your financial situation. That can be as simple as learning how to manage a monthly budget or familiarizing yourself with debt relief options. No matter what improving any aspect of your financial literacy will help serve you on your quest to become debt free.

We’re talking about summer debt and financial literacy on Twitter, join us using the hashtag #BDODebtRelief.

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