Higher costs for everything from housing to groceries and gas are weighing heavily on the minds and budgets of Canadians, causing growing concerns about their long-term financial well-being, according to the findings of the 2022 FP Canada Financial Stress Index.
The index, a survey of 2,001 Canadians conducted by Leger on behalf of FP Canada, shows that for the fifth time in eight years, Canadians say money is their top source of stress (38 per cent), ranking it significantly higher than personal health (21 per cent), work (19 per cent) and relationships (18 per cent).
One in three Canadians (35 per cent) say financial stress has led to anxiety, depression or mental health challenges, with Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 (45 per cent) substantially more likely than Canadians 35 and up (31 per cent) to say financial stress is having a negative impact on their mental health.
Taking action on finances
Even though the results suggest that the rising cost of nearly all aspects of daily living due to record inflation is taking its toll on the average Canadian, many are taking action to get a handle on their finances. More than they did last year, respondents say they're tracking their expenses (up to 44 per cent compared to 34 per cent in 2021) and more than a third (37 per cent, up from 34 per cent from last year) also say they've saved more money.
"It's encouraging to see more Canadians taking steps to alleviate financial stress, but the 2022 FP Canada Financial Stress Index shows there are still very real underlying concerns about personal finances right now," said Tashia Batstone, President and CEO, FP Canada. "As a profession, it's clear we have to work hard to ensure all Canadians feel they can handle today's economic challenges and help them become more optimistic about their long-term financial outlooks."
The results of the survey show that working with a Certified Financial Planner professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional can greatly improve financial outlooks for all Canadians.
Canadians who work with a CFP professional or QAFP professional, compared to those who don't, were significantly more likely to say that the pandemic had no impact on their financial stress levels (61 per cent vs. 39 per cent); and they are more hopeful about their financial future this year than a year ago (55 per cent vs. 48 per cent).