(Special) – In spite of all the economic and political uncertainty that is going on in the world today, Canadians seem to be pretty optimistic about the coming year.
A new national poll for Motive Financial, formerly known as Canadian Direct Financial, a division of Canadian Western Bank, shows that 90 per cent of Canadians are highly optimistic about their personal goals and saving money in 2019.
“With a lot of uncertainty going on the act of saving, by its very nature, is optimistic,” says Jeff Wright, senior vice president of client solutions with Canadian Western Bank in Edmonton.
Topping the list of Canadians’ goals for saving money was experience and opportunities for personal growth, beating out wanting material goods such as recreational vehicles and designer clothing.
When asked what their goals are for 2019, 36 per cent said they want to take steps to turn a dream into a reality. Thirty-two per cent said they want to achieve personal growth by taking a course in a new skill or joining an interest group, and 31 per cent want the chance to “seize the moment” more.
The survey found that to make their dreams a reality 51 per cent are saving regularly for their future, vacations, retirement and increases in the cost of living. Seventy-three per cent of Canadians say that savings are important to them and 64 per cent are looking for ways to bank smartly.
The survey comes on the heels of a couple of other studies which show that Canadians are feeling the pinch on their pocket books as a result of recent increases in interest rates.
A survey for insolvency company MNP Ltd. has found that 46 per cent of Canadians are less than $200 away from insolvency, 31 per cent say they don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments and 51 per cent they are feeling the effect of interest rate increases.
Another report from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy has found that the number of consumers seeking debt relief jumped 5.1 per cent last November to 11,320 from a year earlier.
The Motive Financial survey found that Canadians plan to achieve their savings goals by watching for sales, taking advantage of loyalty programs or using print or app coupons when grocery shopping, reducing impulse purchases, avoiding paying bank fees and banking more smartly through low or no fees, good interest rates and no hidden costs.
“The fact that people want to save their money to make their lives better is a really good thing, particularly in today’s environment,” Wright said in an interview. “They are watching their expenses, cutting corners and looking for ways to pinch their pennies. They are trying to become more financially responsible.”
Wright says he notices that clients today are using a combination of methods to save, from setting up an automatic savings program to making one-time deposits in a mixture of vehicles such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Tax Free Savings Accounts and saving for their children(s)’ education in Registered Retirement Education Plans.
“Generally there is a mixture of ways in which they are doing it, but Canadians are showing a desire both to save for the long-term while leaving themselves some flexibility to enjoy life in the short term as well,” Wright said.
Motive has created what it calls a savvy savings account designed to help Canadians achieve their savings goals by offering them a competitive interest rate (calculated daily and paid monthly) with no fees and no minimum balances and time limits. An account can be opened online in a few minutes.
“The survey tells us that Canadians are savvy savers who are looking for tech-savvy, no-catch banking options to help them achieve their goals more quickly and easily,” Wright says. “They know what they want to achieve with their financial goals and that they can make those goals a reality in 2019.”
Talbot Boggs is a Toronto-based business communications professional who has worked with national news organizations, magazines and corporations in the finance, retail, manufacturing and other industrial sectors.
Copyright 2019 Talbot Boggs
Talbot Boggs , The Canadian Press
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