TORONTO – A new poll by Scotiabank revealed that on average, Canadians are worrying about their finances for 15 hours a week, up from 10 hours from the same period last year. This average amount of time Canadians spend worrying works out to roughly 31 days a year, or the amount of time one could spend on a part-time job.
Results from Scotiabank’s fourth annual Worry Poll show that Canadians who worry spend the most time worrying about:
- Paying for day-to-day expenses (44%),
- Paying off debt (39%), and
- Saving for emergencies (38%)
The average number of hours Canadians spend worrying about their finances each week has grown since July 2021, with notable jumps every quarter.
Overall, one in four Canadians (26%) are so stressed about their finances that they are losing sleep over it. Gen Z, Millennials and Gen Xers are significantly more stressed about their finances then Boomers. Women are more stressed about their finances then men (26% vs. 20%). Notably, this financial worry is not spread evenly across the country. Residents of Quebec are least likely to agree their financial situation causes them a great deal of stress (17%), while Albertans are the most worried (32%).
“Canadians continue to feel the impact of higher prices on their wallets, and this is leading to more time spent worrying. For most Canadians, their income has not kept pace with the rising costs of what they buy, with groceries and gas continuing to be the biggest drivers of strain for households,” said Kingsley Chak, Senior Vice President, Deposits, Investments & Payments at Scotiabank. “With so much time spent worrying, Canadians can find peace of mind by speaking with a financial advisor who can help them achieve their financial goals. A simple conversation can alleviate worrisome questions about their financial future, and free up a substantial amount of time.”
Rising cost of living weighing Canadians down
Most Canadians (72%) are looking for ways to stretch their dollars in this economic environment, and most have high levels of concern over the rising cost of living (73%).
Although Canada’s unemployment rate has improved with increasingly more jobs added to the market every month, Canadians are still not seeing their incomes keeping up with inflation. Nearly three quarters (71%) of Canadians say that their rising cost of living is increasing faster than their income.
A dreary outlook: changing consumer spending habits going into 2023
While affordability is clearly a concern for Canadians, one in five expect their financial situation to get even worse in the next 6 months.
57% of Canadians are making small concessions on the things they want in order to afford the things they need.
Moving from worry as a part time job to investing in a better financial future
For customers concerned about navigating their financial plans, Scotiabank has various tools and services to help – with more on the way.
To support the Advice+ experience, Advisors can also highlight money management features including Scotia Smart Money by Advice+ and Scotia Smart Investor. With many Canadians seeking more control over their investments, Scotia Smart Investor empowers customers to set, track and change their financial goals as life evolves.
Methodology: From January 24th to 25th 2023 an online survey of 1,505 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was conducted by Maru/Blue on behalf of Scotiabank. The overall data is weighted by age, gender, and region to be representative of the Canadian adult population. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of over $1.3 trillion (as at October 31, 2022), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS).