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COVID-19 is stressing us out over personal finances

With November marking Financial Literacy Month in Canada, CPA Canada has released its Canadian Finance Study 2020

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, OCT. 28, 2020 – According to a new national survey commissioned by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), one third of Canadians say the stress associated with money management has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Canadians have felt a harsh financial impact from the fallout  of COVID-19 as it alters incomes, savings strategies and retirement plans. 

Three in 10 (31%) survey participants say their income has decreased as a result of COVID-19 and 30 per cent of respondents report COVID-19 has reduced the amount they are saving.  COVID-19 also is impacting the way survey participants are spending, with 55 per cent saying they are spending less, on average. Two in 10 (21%) of pre-retired respondents say they now plan to retire later as a result of COVID-19. 

“Canadians are worried amid the uncertainty and the pandemic is influencing how they are viewing and managing their finances,” says Doretta Thompson, CPA Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader. “The need to provide financial educational and literacy tools to Canadians is paramount so that information is available to help individuals and families make informed decisions when it comes to money matters.” 

Canadian Finance Study 2020

The survey is part of CPA Canada’s Canadian Finance Study 2020, which examines people’s attitudes and feelings towards their personal finances, in anticipation of Financial Literacy Month in Canada, which occurs in November. While the results highlight the challenging financial realities currently facing about one-third of Canadians, the survey found that nearly half of the respondents (46%) say their financial situation is about the same as it was a year ago. 

Almost eight in 10 (77%) of those surveyed are not receiving a COVID-19-related benefit from the federal government. The survey was conducted via an online questionnaire from September 4 to 16, 2020. At the time, 17 per cent of respondents reported receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which has now been transitioned to Employment Insurance. 

Despite the challenges, however, the majority of respondents expressed confidence in their abilities to manage debts, stick to a budget and save for their child’s post-secondary education. About half have modified their savings strategy over the past five years. 

“This is a challenging time for many Canadians and it is never too late to start paying closer attention to your finances and to seek information to help guide your decision making,” adds Thompson. “Taking action today can position you for a better tomorrow when it comes to your finances.” 

By Canadian Accountant staff with files from CPA Canada. Click here to access CPA Canada financial literacy resources. Image by RawPixel.

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