Two-Thirds of Canadians Admit to Bad Financial HabitsPosted October 21, 2015 in Personal Finance, Statistics
Do you have bad financial habits? You’re not alone. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Canadians confessed that they have personal financial habits that they plan to work on, finds a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Interac. It’s hard to know if you’re on track to meet your financial goals without a budget. 29 percent of Canadians admitted to never creating a household budget.
Out of the two-thirds polled that admit to having bad financial habits, 22 percent say they have “lots” to work on, while 43 percent say they have a “few” to work on. Only 34 percent say they’re “happy” with their financial habits. Those most likely to say they have habits that need improvement are those under 35 (82 percent), followed by those aged 35 to 54 (74 percent) and those over 55 (45 percent).
Clearly there’s room for improvement. Of those who plan to work on improving their financial habits, over half (54 percent) say not saving is the primary thing to work on, while overspending or living beyond their means is another major concern.
Misusing credit cards is a bad habit for many Canadians. 24 percent said not paying the credit card bill in full each month is something they need to work on, while 21 percent admitted to overusing their credit card. While many people believe women are bigger shoppers than men, the stats from this survey tell a different story. Interestingly, men (28 percent) are more likely than women (15 percent) to say they need to work on overusing their credit cards.
Not surprisingly, these bad habits are causing us stress, even more so in Millennials. 43 percent said not saving enough money is causing the most stress (54 percent for millennials), while 25 percent said overspending is causing them stress (37 percent for millennials). Other bad habits causing us stress include: not adhering to a budget (17 percent), accumulating debt (17 percent), not paying their credit card bill in full each month (16 percent), overusing their credit cards (15 percent), not having a personal or household budget (11 percent), and differing financial views in the household (10 percent).
Simple Solutions to “Kick the Bad Habits”
There’s a lot of data to digest in this article, but the fact is, bad financial habits are causing stress in our lives. While it’s helpful to identify our financial bad habits, that’s only half the story. It’s important to take the steps needed to “kick those bad habits.” Here are four ways to kick the habit.
- Budgeting: Creating a budget and reviewing it quarterly will go a long way in staying on the right path.
- Saving: Saving is important. Start small, say $100 per month (or some small percent of your paycheque that wouldn’t be missed). Over time, aim to increase your savings as your budget allows. Some experts suggest aiming for saving 10 percent of your paycheque.
- Credit Card: Use credit cards wisely. Not paying off the credit card bill in full is generally due to overspending. Stay within the budget. If you’re constantly overspending, leave your credit cards at home and instead use cash for your daily spending.
- Dedication: Like any bad habit, it will take time and dedication to stay the course. Track your progress and celebrate your achievements to keep yourself motivated.