For fifth time in eight years, money emerges as Canadians' top stressor

Survey finds rising costs weighing heavy on Canadians', raising concerns about financial security and mental well-being

For fifth time in eight years, money emerges as Canadians' top stressor

Mounting costs of housing, groceries, gas, and other products and services are putting a strain on Canadians' mental well-being and budgets.

According to the findings of the 2022 FP Canada Financial Stress Index, which draws from a survey of 2,001 Canadians conducted by Leger on behalf of FP Canada, money is the top source of stress for the fifth time in eight years, ranking significantly higher than personal health (21%), work (19%), and relationships (18%).

Financial stress has caused anxiety, despair, or mental health issues in one-third of Canadians (35%), with Canadians aged 18 to 34 (45%) were significantly more likely than Canadians aged 35 and older (31%) to claim it has harmed their mental health.

The findings indicate that the average Canadian is feeling the pinch as the expense of practically every part of daily life rises due to unprecedented inflation.

The majority of respondents (58%) believe the pandemic has increased their financial stress levels, while nearly two-thirds (39%) say they are less optimistic about their financial future than they were a year ago.

Despite this, many people are taking steps to regain control of their finances.

Respondents say they're tracking their costs more than they were last year (44% vs. 34 % in 2021), and more than a third (37% vs. 34% last year) believe they've saved more money.

"It's encouraging to see more Canadians taking steps to alleviate financial stress, but the 2022 FP Canada Financial Stress Index shows there are still very real underlying concerns about personal finances right now," Tashia Batstone, President and CEO, FP Canada, said. "As a profession, it's clear we have to work hard to ensure all Canadians feel they can handle today's economic challenges and help them become more optimistic about their long-term financial outlooks.”

Inflation, high gas prices, and growing housing costs, including rising mortgage and interest rates, are all putting pressure on the typical Canadian, but it's the higher cost of food that is causing the greatest concern.

Nearly seven out of ten (68%) Canadians (including more than three-quarters of Atlantic Canadians) believe rising supermarket prices are putting them under financial strain.

Rising oil prices (56%), the impact of inflation on the cost of goods and services (55%), rising housing prices (25%), interest rates (25%), and rental costs (23%) are all causing major concern.

Rising property costs were cited as a key financial stressor by younger Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 (45%) and racialized Canadians (35%).

Only one in five people (20%) think they have more disposable income this year than a year ago, while two out of five (39%) say they have less.

Kelly Ho, Certified Financial Planner and Partner with DLD Financial Group Ltd. in Vancouver, BC., stated, "While tracking expenses or creating a budget or financial plan won't help bring down the prices at the pumps or produce stands, those efforts can have a significant positive impact on alleviating financial stress and helping the average Canadian stretch their dollars."