Canadians struggling to save: RBC

By Staff | June 22, 2011 | Last updated on June 22, 2011
2 min read

While Canadians appear to be accelerating their mortgage payments, they claim to be saving less, according to a survey by RBC. The poll found that 40% of Canadians are saving less than they did last year.

A similar survey conducted in 2010 found that 27% were saving less than they had in the previous year.

The ability to save has eroded the most in British Columbia and Ontario, where 43% and 42%, respectively, are putting away less than they did last year.

The survey also found that 57% of Canadians are keeping a budget, but this might be a little generous—of those who said they kept a budget, 23% said they did so in their heads. More realistic forms of budgeting included writing down expenses (45%) and, for the more serious, creating a spreadsheet (23%).

“Creating a budget you can reference on a daily or weekly basis can help you manage your expenses and keep you on target to meet your goals”, said Maria Contreras, product manager, savings accounts at RBC. “A savings plan is a lot like an exercise regimen: it can feel overwhelming at first, but if you stick with it you’ll see the benefits and know it’s worthwhile.”

Younger adults (18 to 24 years of age) were among the most likely to keep a budget (61%), just slightly behind 35 to 49 year olds (64%).

The survey forms the basis of a pitch to consumers to use RBC’s online planning tools, which include a budgeting tool. These tools are, understandably, available only to RBC clients.

Earlier this week, Scotiabank made its splash with its Let the Saving Begin program, which features Valerie Pringle as the bank’s “savings ambassador”.

Why should this matter to independent planners?

The banks are visibly stepping forward as the consumer’s friend, encouraging saving for the sake of saving. Of course, this frees up additional capital that can be invested, which is a benefit to both the client and the financial institution that wins their trust.

The pressure is on for client loyalty, and the service provider who focuses on their clients’ entire financial picture stands to benefit.

Between May 13, 2011 and May 16, 2011, an online survey was administered to a cross-section of the general population, obtained via TNS Canadian Facts’ Internet Panel. 1,175 interviews were completed among a sample of adults 18 years of age in both English and French Canada. Data were weighted to reflect the Canadian population. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.