This is the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month; the federal government’s annual campaign to boost awareness and education. This year’s theme is, appropriately enough, “managing finances in challenging times”.
Just how challenging these times are for Canadians comes to light in a recent survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. It suggests one-third of Canadians are feeling increased financial stress because of COVID-19. Similar percentages say their earnings have been cut by the pandemic (31%) and that they have been forced to reduce the amount they are saving (30%).
None the less, the survey finds Canadians are still serious about saving with 63% holding a savings account, 60% putting money into a TFSA, and 53% contributing to either an RRSP or an RSP.
Given the number of Canadians who are carrying mortgage debt as they head toward retirement it is worth noting that 21% of pre-retired respondents say they now plan to retire later as a result of COVID-19.
The survey indicates 55% of Canadians have cut their spending.
Fewer than half of the respondents (46%) say their financial situation is largely unchanged from a year ago.
Still, the CPA survey indicates Canadians are feeling confident about their knowledge and skills regarding personal finances with 78% of respondents saying they can stick to a budget and 81% saying they can successfully manage their debts.
Both the CPA and the federal government offer online financial literacy resources at: