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Family finances

According to the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, about half (49 percent) of Canadians have a budget. The most common method of budgeting is using a digital tool such as a spreadsheet, mobile app or other financial software (20 percent).1

Among Canadians in the “Sandwich Generation” (those looking after children and parents), 27 percent expect to put their own financial goals on hold to provide support to both their children and their parents. Planning ahead is key, yet only one-in-four said they have a financial plan to help them deal with the pressures associated with supporting these family members.2

A snapshot of Canadian spending habits during the pandemic3
$

75%

are spending less overall.

$

62%

are using less cash.

$

53%

are using card or mobile tap payment more.

$

38%

are using e-commerce platforms more.

Read more about nine key financial planning tips.

Peace of mind in planning

4 in 10

According to the 2020 Financial Stress Index, 4 in 10 Canadians say the pandemic has impacted their financial stress levels, and half are losing sleep over financial worries. Notably, however, those with a financial planner feel more shielded from financial stress, with 53 percent saying it does not impact them.5

56% vs. 28%

Canadians who have a plan to save are more confident in how much they need to save for retirement compared with those who don’t have a retirement plan (56 percent vs. 28 percent); they also feel more assured that their savings will provide for the lifestyle they envision (71 percent vs. 32 percent).4

Find out how a plan to invest regularly may help you save more over time.

Health and wellness

Over the course of the pandemic, baking and cooking have become increasingly popular at-home activities and pastimes. According to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in small, creative projects can be an effective tool to promote well-being and positively impact emotional functioning. In fact, the findings revealed that cooking and baking made the participants feel more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives.6

Most-searched recipes online during the pandemic:7
  • Banana bread
  • Pancakes
  • Chicken
  • Pizza dough
  • Brownies
  • Crepes
  • Meatloaf
  • French toast
  • Lasagna
  • Cheesecake

Regular physical activity has been shown to help the brain’s capacity to grow, repair and improve — at every age. In adults, the hippocampus (the area involved in memory, learning and emotion) starts shrinking after age 55 by about 1 to 2 percent per year. Research shows that just one year of moderate aerobic exercise (activities that make you sweat and get your heart rate up) three times per week can increase its size by 2 percent. And, strength training has been shown to enhance brain function by 11 to 17 percent.9

Did you know?

According to recent research, Canadians who sleep more than 6 hours a night report lower stress levels and a better work-life balance than those who get less shuteye. But despite the benefits of more rest, over half of Canadians are willing to cut back on their sleep to accomplish more in their day.8

Find out more about wellness practices.

Spotlight on saving

49%

According to a recent survey, 49 percent of Canadian respondents said they have no savings set aside for an emergency.10

40% +

Based on the most recent Census data, just over 40 percent of Canadians contribute to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). As a savings option, TFSAs are more popular among individuals under age 35 and those over age 55.11

7/10

Among Canadians who are not yet retired, about 7 in 10 are preparing financially.12

Interested in learning more about TFSAs? Read this article.

References:
  1. Government of Canada. Canadians and Their Money: Key Findings from the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey. Accessed August 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/canadian-financial-capability-survey-2019.html
  2. “The Sandwich Generation: Financially squeezed.” Data from a Leger poll. Accessed August 2020. https://www.financialplanningforcanadians.ca/financial-planning/sandwich-generation-survey
  3. “COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifts Canadians’ spending habits.” Payments Canada. Published May 13, 2020. Note: Findings based on a study comparing pre-COVID-19 spending habits to the same habits at week five of the pandemic. https://www.payments.ca/about-us/news/covid-19-pandemic-dramatically-shifts-canadians%E2%80%99-spending-habits
  4. Government of Canada. Canadians and Their Money: Key Findings from the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey. Accessed August 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/canadian-financial-capability-survey-2019.html
  5. 2020 Financial Stress Index. FP Canada. Accessed August 2020. https://www.financialplanningforcanadians.ca/articles/2020-financial-stress-index
  6. “Feeling Down? Scientists say cooking and baking could help you feel better.” Smithsonian Magazine. Accessed August 2020. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/feeling-down-scientists-say-cooking-and-baking-may-help-you-feel-better-180961223/; and, “Everyday creative activity as a path to flourishing.” The Journal of Positive Psychology. Accessed August 2020. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2016.1257049
  7. “From banana bread to lasagna: Top 10 most-googled recipes while people are self-quarantining” CNBC. Based on Google Trends data from March 1 to April 26. Accessed August 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/26/top-google-recipes-amid-covid-19-banana-bread-whipped-coffee.html
  8. Statistics Canada. Ready, set, snooze! Infographic. Release date: October 10, 2018. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2018029-eng.htm
  9. “Do you know how to keep your brain healthy?” Women’s Brain Health Initiative. Accessed August 2020. https://womensbrainhealth.org/think-twice/do-you-know-how-to-keep-your-brain-healthy
  10. Investment Executive. Findings from Refresh Financial Survey. Accessed August 2020. https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/industry-news/53-of-canadians-live-paycheque-to-paycheque/
  11. Statistics Canada. Census in Brief. Household contribution rates for selected registered savings accounts. Release date: September 13, 2017. https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016013/98-200-x2016013-eng.cfm
  12. Government of Canada. Canadians and Their Money: Key Findings from the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey. Accessed August 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/research/canadian-financial-capability-survey-2019.html