Canadians Financially Unprepared for Emergencies

By Andrew Rickard | September 12 2014 08:47AM

Many Canadians do not have enough money saved to see them through an emergency, and most have less than $10,000 on hand.

The Bank of Montreal's recent Rainy Day Survey reveals that Canadians have an average $35,237 in emergency savings. This is an increase of $1,080 over the previous year. There are, however, some significant disparities; 52% of respondents say they have less than $10,000 in emergency savings, and 41% say they have less than $5,000.

One in four of those surveyed say they only have enough money put by to deal with a financial emergency of a month or less, and their average emergency fund is just $2,051. The survey also showed that three out of ten Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque or spending more than they earn.

"Two-thirds of Canadians have relied on their savings to help deal with unpredictable financial emergencies," comments Christine Canning, head of everyday banking at BMO. "In order to avoid taking on an unmanageable amount of debt, the ideal emergency savings fund should be equal to three to six months of your income."

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