Nearly one in three Canadians (31%) feel “very stressed about money” on a regular basis, according to a study.
An Angus Reid Institute report also finds 30% of Canadians are pessimistic about their personal financial situation over the next few years.
Some of the survey results are actually quite disturbing.
“Respondents were asked about a dozen specific money-related scenarios, ranging from having to forgo relative luxuries like movies (44% of Canadians say they have done this) and dinners out on a special occasion (46%), to more serious instances of deprivation like having to use a food bank (16%), or being unable to afford warm winter clothes (17%),” notes the report.
Some Canadians also say they have:
- Used a payday loan type service (11%)
- Been late paying rent or mortgage (18%)
- Been unable to pay a utility bill (24%)
- Borrowed money for essentials like groceries or transportation (25%)
- Lived in a place too small or too far away from work or otherwise doesn’t meet one’s needs (27%)
- Been unable to buy new clothes when they’re needed (39%)
- Been unable to afford dental care (40%)
- Been unable to afford good quality groceries and having to buy what’s cheap instead (43%)
The study notes that Canadians can be grouped into four categories based on their economic hardship:
- Struggling (16% of the total population): Membership in this group overlaps significantly with traditional, income-based measures of poverty.
- On the edge (11%): Members of this group are on the edge of serious financial difficulty.
- Recently comfortable (36%): In general, members of this group know what it’s like for money to be tight, even if it’s not that way for them right now.
- Always comfortable (37%): Members of this group are the lucky ones, financially speaking.
The Angus Reid Institute notes that “those living in extreme poverty are likely underrepresented in the sample” because they don’t have Internet access. “As such, the findings of this study should be considered low-end estimates of the actual prevalence of the experiences and attitudes in question.”