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Families can’t take it any more: debts also for grocery

TORONTO – More than half of Canadians can’t keep up with the cost of living and gets into debt to meet ordinary expenses: rent, food, gasoline. An alarming situation, to say the least, photographed by the Angus Reid Institute through a research conducted online from 8 to 10 August 2022 on a sample of 2,279 Canadian adults.

The study also shows that most Canadians (57%) say they have cut spending in recent months and that two thirds of them (76%) say they are “stressed about money”.

“Four out of five Canadians say they have cut their discretionary budget, in a variety of ways: by delaying a major purchase, driving less to consume on gasoline, reducing travel and charitable donations, or postponing savings for the future,” the research institute explains.

Specifically, 42% of respondents are delaying a major purchase, 41% are driving less and 57% – as said – are reducing general discretionary spending.

The situation varies from province to province: in Alberta, people are more likely than those in other parts of the country to have to cut back on ordinary expenses. 58% of Saskatchewan Canadians, on the other hand, said they were in a position to “use an unexpected $ 5,000 income for debt.” In fact, debt represents one of the problems, not only in Saskatchewan but all over the country: there are those who “turn on” new loans because, with price increases, regular income is no longer enough. The money that until a year ago was enough for everything is now no longer enough and those who do not have “extras” are forced to resort to sufficient loans even just to shop at the supermarket or to drive the car.

Not surprisingly, the survey shows that two out of five Canadians (39%) fear they have too much debt, while three out of five (58%) are less worried. Mid-career Canadians (between 35 and 54) are more likely than other age groups to be worried about their debt load: half (52%) say they have too much. Specifically, according to Statistics Canada, this age group holds 57% of Canada’s debt, despite accounting for a third of the adult population.

Returning to territorial differentiation, those of Saskatchewan (57%) believe they have too much debt, double the percentage of Quebecers (28%).

Overall, three quarters (76%) of Canadians say they are “stressed out by money”. Women are more likely than men to say this – more than four out of five women under the age of 55. It is therefore the younger groups who are most affected: in general, the elderly report being in a better position to “bear unexpected expenses”. In fact, according to the study, three in five respondents over the age of 54 said they could be able to spend $ 1,000 more this month if needed than two in five of their younger peers.

“People between the ages of 35 and 54 are less likely to be able to comfortably afford extra expenses,” the report also reads. And as if that weren’t enough, there is also concern about work: one in three Canadian families (36%) grapple with uncertainty when it comes to job stability, especially in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The future doesn’t look bright either.

Photo by PiggyBank on Unsplash

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