Interac - Not saving money is top financial stressor for Canadians: Survey

Not saving money is top financial stressor for Canadians: Survey

One in four Canadians also worried about living beyond their means


Toronto, Ontario (September 23, 2015): When it comes to money, there is no shortage of financial stressors keeping Canadians up at night – even though the majority think they have their financial goals on track.

According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Interac Association, nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians think they are on track to meet their financial goals either as is or with only minor adjustments – but this isn't leaving them stress-free. Nearly two in three Canadians (65 per cent) believe they have financial habits to improve – and those same habits have Canadians worried.

More than two in five Canadians (43 per cent) said not saving money is their most stressful financial habit, while a quarter of respondents (25 per cent) said overspending or living beyond their means tops their list of worries. Other top concerns include not sticking to a budget (17 per cent), accumulating debt (17 per cent) and failing to pay monthly credit card bills in full (16 per cent).

"Money management is not something you learn overnight – it's a skill that improves with practice," said Teri Murphy, Senior Manager, Corporate and Stakeholder Relations, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. "A conscientious approach to personal finance that consists of creating and following a budget and establishing wise spending practices, including using payment cards responsibly, can help Canadians stay on top of their goals."

Canadians have a list of financial goals – and they're keeping track

The survey found that a majority of Canadians (66 per cent) have reviewed their financial goals in the last six months.

What financial goals are Canadians working towards? Two in five (43 per cent) Canadians reported saving for retirement topped their overall list, with saving for a dream vacation (33 per cent) following closely behind. Only one in ten respondents said they don't have any financial goals identified.

"The survey responses suggest Canadians are taking responsibility when it comes to their finances by setting goals and reviewing those goals regularly," said Murphy. "Having realistic, measurable and attainable financial goals is key to success. But so is making sure you have the right tools – like a budget – and habits to help you achieve those financial milestones."

Other top financial goals identified include:

  • Repaying loans (32 per cent)
  • Purchasing a vehicle (31 per cent)
  • Paying a mortgage (29 per cent)
  • Purchasing a house or condo (22 per cent)
  • Saving for a life event (18 per cent)
  • Saving for children's education (18 per cent)

Examining spending habits key to improving financial habits

While they have their fair share of financial worries, most Canadians are taking a proactive approach to money management with more than half (51 per cent) reporting they've made a budget in the last year and 55 per cent saying they examine their spending habits monthly.

This month, Interac Association is challenging Canadians to set aside their credit cards, review their finances and take a conscious approach when it comes to purchases by participating in the Interac 21 Day Credit-Free Challenge.

"To achieve your financial goals, you often need to evaluate your financial habits and make changes to your day-to-day routine," said Murphy. "These challenges are designed to help participants think more carefully about their spending habits and remember how good it feels to use their own money."

Those interested in taking the Interac 21 Day Credit-Free Challenge can

Survey Methodology

For this Ipsos poll, a sample of 1,004 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Interac Association / Acxsys Corporation

Interac is Canada's leading payment brand that operates an economical, world-class debit system with broad-based acceptance, 24/7 reliability, security and efficiency. The brand is chosen an average of 12 million times daily to pay and exchange money. Interac products and services securely connect people to their money at the ABM through Interac Cash, at retailers across Canada through Interac Debit and the US, and online through web based services – Interac Online for online purchases, and Interac e-Transfer for person-to-person payments. In addition, Interac Flash, the secure contactless enhancement of Interac Debit, is in widespread use at retailers across Canada and provides the service for mobile NFC proximity payments. The organization is also a leader in the prevention and detection of fraud. Visit

Media contact:

Colleen Harasymchuk

Manager, Communications
Interac Association
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