Canadians lose two hours daily to financial worries

Information overload, competing priorities, and income divide figure in problem impacting many Canadians

Canadians lose two hours daily to financial worries

A lot of Canadians have money on their minds — but not in a good way, if the findings of research from Scotiabank are anything to go by.

Citing recent polls it commissioned, the bank said that Canadians spend an average of two hours a day worrying about their finances. Those between 18 and 35 years old were reportedly the biggest worriers as they dwell on their financial situation for 2.4 hours a day on average, while those aged 55 and above worry for an average of 1.4 hours a day.

“Many Canadians are feeling rudderless when it comes to managing their finances, as they try to balance savings and spending, while paying down debt,” D'Arcy McDonald, SVP, Retail Deposits, Investments, and Payments for Scotiabank, said in a statement.

One contributing factor is an overload of information on investing, something that 67% of Canadians and 75% of millennials on average reportedly said.

Another stressor is the challenge of addressing competing financial priorities, particularly for 65% of indebted Canadians who said they find it challenging to save, invest, and pay down their debt. The problem is especially acute among the 18-34 age group (71%) compared to those who were at least 55 years old (56%).

Lower-income Canadian households were also said to worry more frequently. Among households making less than $50,000, the average time spent fretting over their finances was 2.25 hours a day. Those falling in the $55,000 to $99,000 range worried an average of 1.85 hours daily, while those making at least $100,000 reported being preoccupied with money problems for just over an hour per day on average.

“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,” McDonald said. “Canadians can spark change and energize their finances starting with a few simple steps, like meeting with an advisor and creating a weekly budget.”

Other highlights from the polls commissioned by Scotiabank include:

  • Atlantic region residents reportedly spent the most time worrying about their finances (3.4 hours per day);
  • Albertans worry an average of 2.7 hours a day, compared to those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba who lose 2.4 hours a day on average to financial concerns;
  • Quebec residents reported the least time spent worrying about finances, with 38% of them saying they spend just one hour per week fretting and the overall average standing at 5 hours per week; and
  • Canadians 18-34 spend 2.4 hours a day on average worrying about their finances, followed by those between 35 and 54 years old (2 hours a day) and those above 55 (1.4 hours a day).


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