What would Canadians give up to kiss their debt goodbye?

Eating at home, working overtime, and forgoing vacations are just some popular answers

What would Canadians give up to kiss their debt goodbye?

A new survey conducted by Ipsos for personal insolvency practice MNP has revealed the lengths Canadians would go to so they could get rid of their debt.

Among a sample population of around 2,000 Canadians, 45% said they would eat at home instead of having dinner out for a year if it meant being debt-free. Nearly the same percentage of people said they would pull 10 hours of overtime per week for a year (27%) or forgo vacation for three years (26%).

Only 24% of Canadians said they would cut up their credit cards, and just 18% said they would seek professional help from a licensed insolvency trustee. Other extreme answers included giving up the right to vote for the next eight years (21%), giving up their mobile phone for a year (16%), taking one year off their life expectancy (10%), and selling an organ (5%).

“Many see licensed insolvency trustees as a very last resort and, as a result, they wait until they are up against foreclosure, repossession, or garnishment before taking action,” said David Gowling, a licensed insolvency trustee with MNP. “The reality is that we help people make informed choices to deal with their debt and we can provide a full range of options, not just bankruptcy.”

The survey also revealed regional differences in preferences. Compared to the general population, Albertans were more likely to work overtime (39%), while eating at home was a more popular option among British Columbians (54%) and Prairie residents (53%). Atlantic Canadians were more willing than most to give up coffee (24%) or use of their mobile phone (23%).

Looking at different age groups, millennials were generally most prepared to work overtime (37%), list their debts online (23%), give up voting (28%), and swear off coffee (26%). Generation X Canadians between 35 and 54 years old, meanwhile, were the most open to eating at home (48%) and seeking professional help (20%). Baby boomers were the most likely to say they would not take any of the suggested actions to eliminate their debt (24%), as compared to Gen-Xers (13%) or millennials (8%).


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