Canadians’ financial anxiety remains but has eased since 2020

BMO survey reveals a sense of financial progress among consumers

Canadians’ financial anxiety remains but has eased since 2020
Steve Randall

The hope of slamming the door on a challenging 2020 and moving on swiftly may be a pipedream, but Canadians are feeling more optimistic about their finances.

A new survey from BMO and Ipsos shows that almost 40% of consumers say they are making real progress to achieving their financial goals or measures that are important to them.

The poll discovered that most Canadians are feeling more positive about their finances in 2021 than they did last year but that anxiety remains.

Interesting, given reports that younger adults have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, 60% of millennials and 55% of Gen Zs said they feel more financially secure now.

Despite around 4 in 10 of all respondents saying they are progressing towards their goals, 51% said they are standing still.

COVID remains the single-biggest concern (50%) while unknown expenses (30%), housing costs (27%), and family-related expenses (23%) are also keeping Canadians up at night.

Doing the right thing

Even with high levels of financial anxiety, 32% of respondents admitted they often do things to worsen their financial situation, like spending more than they should.

Two thirds of Canadians are saving at least on a monthly basis but not as much as they would like.

And among the 11% who indicated that their financial goals were slipping, only 29% have enough savings to get them through an unexpected emergency, 61% said that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened their financial situation, and 39% said they're falling behind on basic needs.