young-family-sitting

Most Canadian families are optimistic about the economy, but they’re still concerned about their personal finances, according to a new BMO poll.

There are more than 5.6 million families with children across the country, says StatsCan, and the median income of two-parent families with children under the age of 18 is $93,700.

Read: Insurance for newlyweds

Of those families, more than half (56%) feel Canada’s either coming out of a recession or that it’s growing. In fact, an equal number (57%) say the country’s doing better than others around the world.

When it comes to their finances, however, half of those families (50%) admit they’re falling behind on their monthly expenses or just getting by with no savings.

Read: Don’t assume clients are financially literate

Delving deeper, BMO finds millennial families (those with parents aged 18-34) are more confident than Baby Boomer families (those with parents aged 55 and over). The table below provides a breakdown of findings.

18-34 Year Olds (Millennials) With Kids 55+ Year Olds (Baby Boomers) With Kids
Canada is coming out of recession/is out of recession and growing again 62% 53%
Canada’s economy is doing better, compared to the rest of the world 63% 57%
Falling behind on monthly expenses, or just getting by, with no savings 42% 50%

Compared to Baby Boomers parents, adds BMO, Millennials are on firmer financial footing: the latter has amassed more wealth and have better job prospects than their parents did in the 1980s. Also, their higher levels of education often lead to higher incomes.

Read: Help clients’ kids find scholarship money

On the downside, Millenials are juggling more debt and buying expensive homes. The study also reveals 76% of Millennial families are more concerned this year about saving money than they were last year, with 47% expecting their summer spending to ad more debt.

Read: Are Gen X and Gen Y too confident about finance?

Baby Boomer families are less concerned about saving money since only 49% say they’ll save less. They’re also less willing to incur debt from summer spending, with only 22% expecting to overspend.

Read: Gen Y turn to parents for advice

BMO offers the following tips to families:

  • Monitor spending. Families need to develop budgets so they can better manage household expenses and spending. They can take advantage of online tools and apps, and advisors can help via cash flow management services. Read: The ABCs of cash flow planning: Top 10 posts
  • Consolidate high-interest debt. By paying off higher interest debt with fewer or single payments, families can save on interest costs in the long run. Read: Cars are third-largest expense for Canadians

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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