Financial Literacy

Canadians spend an average of two hours a day worried about money

By: Lisa Coxon on January 14, 2020

A recent poll from Scotiabank revealed that Canadians are worrying about their finances for an average of two hours every day.

Those aged 18 to 34 worry about their money the most, for 2.4 hours a day on average, compared with those between 35 and 54, at two hours a day, and those 55 and over, who worry 1.4 hours a day.

Of course, it’s not just age that determines the amount of worrying Canadians do — it’s how much income they have, too.

According to the Financial Worry Poll, which surveyed 1,520 Canadians across the country, households earning an average of $50,000 annually worry about their finances twice as much as households earning an average of more than $100,000 a year.

Those earning an average of $50,000 spend 2.25 hours of every day, on average, worrying about their money.

Atlantic Canadians spend the most time worried about their finances, at 3.4 hours per day, while Quebec residents spend the least time worried, at an average of five hours every week.

“Many Canadians are feeling rudderless when it comes to managing their finances, as they try to balance savings and spending, while paying down debt,” said D'Arcy McDonald, senior vice president of retail deposits, investments, and payments for Scotiabank, in a release.

“They're increasingly seeking trusted sources of advice and support to make sense of the overwhelming amount of information available to them.”

According to a New Year’s Resolution Personal Finance Survey from Willful, an online estate planning platform, 46% of Canadians had “pay off debt” on their New Year’s Resolution list.

But Scotiabank’s poll revealed that 65% of Canadians find it difficult to save and invest while trying to pay down their debt. Again, the 18-to-34-year-old demographic emerges as the hardest-hit with this challenge, with 71% of respondents saying they’re struggling to pay down debt and save or invest at the same time. That number drops to 56% among those 55 and older. 

The thing is, short-term saving is key while paying off debt. It’s one of the main ways you can avoid going back into debt while trying to get out of it.

Investing is another source of worry for Canadians, with 67% saying they find investing information overwhelming. Among millennials, that number rises to 75%.

“The survey data suggests that a third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage fright from all the overwhelming options for saving and investing their money,” said McDonald. “Canadians can spark change and energize their finances starting with a few simple steps, like meeting with an advisor and creating a weekly budget.”