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Bank surveys show COVID’s effects on Canadians’ spending and saving habits and attitudes

By The IJ Staff | November 13 2020 02:06PM

Photo: Unsplash

A survey of 1,001 Canadians conducted for the TD Bank Group found that 46 per cent of respondents believe their family’s financial situation was negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Perhaps exacerbating the problem, 34 per cent are reluctant to talk about the situation. Although one third of those surveyed, 33 per cent said they had no issues talking about money, the survey found that 59 per cent would rather go for a physical checkup with a doctor; 56 per cent would rather clean their house top to bottom; and 40 per cent would rather discuss the weather. Meanwhile, 13 per cent would rather get a root canal than talk about their finances with an advisor or their bank.

Probing Canadians’ attitudes and habits even further, a second survey, this time from Scotiabank, found that spending and savings habits have changed significantly as a result of COVID-19. The Scotiabank survey of more than 1,500 Canadians found that more are being cautious with their spending while more than half have made saving for an emergency a priority since the pandemic began. It found that 79 per cent are being cautious, 58 per cent say they are putting away the extra money they are not spending during lockdown, and more than one-third or 38 per cent are adding to their investments.

Out of those surveyed, 27 per cent say they have been able to save more thanks to reduced spending on eating out, entertainment, clothing and apparel and commuting costs, 14 per cent are saving less money and 18 per cent are not able to save any money at all as a result of COVID-19. Less than half, 41 per cent say COVID-19 has had no impact on their savings behaviour. Those who are saving more are using the extra cash to build up an emergency fund 61 per cent of the time, to invest 34 per cent of the time and pay down debt 29 per cent of the time, while 26 per cent say they are saving for a big purchase.

All told, approximately 41 per cent reported feeling financially prepare to manage through the pandemic, up from 35 per cent six months ago.

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