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Only 1/4 of Canadians think their financial situation will improve next year: Survey

Canadians say paying off debt tops list of economic worries for 2022

With the rising costs of everyday items top-of-mind for many, among Canadians who say they took on more debt in 2021. A recent Maru financial priorities poll suggests 37 per cent of Canadians said it was because expenses exceeded their monthly income. In the face of these concerns, only a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) expect their financial situation will improve in 2022.

The survey finds that debt repayment is the number one goal for Canadians for 2022 (20 per cent), while economic worries are focused on inflation (66 per cent), followed by uncertainty due to COVID-19 (36 per cent).

When asked what financial wellness means to them, 47 per cent of respondents say living without financial stress, and also said it was a top descriptor for overall wellness (28 per cent). Four in ten (41 per cent) feel financial wellness comes from being able to afford what they need in life, such as housing, food, or transportation. Half (50 per cent) admit that they wish they were better at saving, while a similar number of Canadians agree that they need to get a better handle on their finances this coming year (49 per cent). Using a Budget Calculator, like offered by CIBC, which offers a clear picture of monthly cash flow to guide making financial decisions can help mitigate stress.

Additional findings from the 2021 December Financial Priorities poll:

  • Other top financial priorities for 2022 are growing investments (16 per cent) and simply keeping up with bills (15 per cent).
  • Common secondary financial goals for 2022 include saving as much as possible/growing an emergency fund (28 per cent), avoiding taking on more debt (26 per cent), saving for a vacation/travel (17 per cent), reducing discretionary spending (17 per cent), and saving for retirement (16 per cent).
  • 80 per cent of Canadians expect that their financial goals will remain the same once the pandemic is over.
  • When it comes to wellness, work-life balance is also important, with seven in ten (70 per cent) believing that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is now more important than ever.
  • 40 per cent of homeowners and 31 per cent of non-homeowners are worried about rising interest rates.
  • *70 per cent of respondents have not had a planning session with a financial advisor in the last year.

“It’s understandable that Canadians are concerned about the economy in 2022, but what’s important is to have their personal financial house in order, if goods, services and carrying debt are going to cost more”

Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice.

Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice recommends having a plan to reach your long term ambitions and a clear understanding of your monthly cash flow can help significantly reduce stress. CIBC Insights, with tips and proactive alerts about everyday spending to make it easier to manage money and understand how transactions are tracking toward goals.

Upcoming virtual event

CIBC is hosting free webinars (in English and French) on January 27th featuring CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal and CIBC Chief Investment Officer Luc de la Durantaye, who will share their insights about the Canadian and global economies and what it means for personal finances.

Poll Efficacy

From December 6 to December 7, 2021 an online survey of 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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