Canadians’ financial well-being on the decline: survey

The majority (84 per cent) of employees who say they’re feeling stressed are saving less than five per cent of their pay, according to a new survey by the National Payroll Institute and the Financial Wellness Lab of Canada.

The survey, which polled more than 3,000 Canadian employees, also found workers are saving less than they were a year ago. Indeed, across all respondents, those saving between one and five per cent of their pay increased to 34 per cent, up from 27 per cent in 2021. Nine per cent of respondents said they aren’t saving anything.

Eleven per cent of respondents said they spend more than their net pay, the highest level ever reported in the survey. Employees who said they’re stressed are living closest to their limits, with 91 per cent spending all or more than their net pay, up from 82 per cent in 2021.

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While the results showed those with lower household incomes were more likely to be financially stressed, a significant portion (41 per cent) of employees who are financially stressed reported an annual household income in excess of $100,000.

The amount of working Canadians with credit card debt increased to 42 per cent, up from 29 per cent in 2021. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of all respondents reported increased levels of debt and more than half (56 per cent) of financially stressed workers said they feel overwhelmed by their debt.

“Many Canadians feel stretched thin and that the ability to change their financial position remains out of their control,” said Matt Davidson, dean of science at Western University and director of the Financial Wellness Lab of Canada, in a press release. “The research, however, demonstrates moving to a state of improved financial well-being is not only possible, it’s probable if you undertake certain measures that can secure your individual financial position.”

Read: Survey finds Canadians’ financial well-being continues to decline amid rising inflation