If you’ve been stressing more than usually about paying bills during the pandemic, you’re not alone.
A new survey from Credit Canada found the top priority for the majority of Canadians is simply being able to pay their bills.
The findings indicate the pandemic has drastically affected consumer spending, habits and confidence with many Canadians focusing on short-term goals.
According to the results, 54 per cent of respondents said their top financial priority is paying bills, while 44 per cent said it was cutting back on spending.
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Additionally, 36 per cent said their top priority was finishing the month with a positive bank balance, 35 said it was having an emergency savings fund, 32 said it was paying off debt, and 12 per cent said it was having a high credit score.
“While it’s encouraging that Canadians are taking financial responsibility by focusing on paying bills and cutting back on spending, it’s significant that six-in-10 don’t consider a positive bank balance or an emergency savings fund as a matter of great importance,” Keith Emery, co-CEO of Credit Canada, said in a news release.
“Emergency saving funds are designed for just that – emergencies – and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an emergency state,” he continued.
Moreover, the survey also found a significant difference in financial priorities among Canadians based on age.
Having a positive balance at the end of the month was the top priority for 43 per cent of young Canadians—ages 18 to 34—but only 32 per cent of Canadians ages 35 to 54, and 35 per cent of Canadians ages 55 and over felt this way.
Similarly, Canadians who listed having an emergency savings fund as their top priority declined with age as well—40 per cent of Canadians ages 18 to 34 expressed this sentiment compared to 36 per cent of Canadians ages 35 to 54, and only 30 per cent of Canadians ages 55 and over.