Affordability Index: How to tackle your challenges head-onOct 21, 2018
Canadians have a lot on their plates – financially, that is. Our new Affordability Index has shed light on the serious affordability and debt challenges people are facing across the country.
When it comes to daily necessities, life keeps getting more expensive — whether it’s rising interest rates or the price of groceries. And the more debt you’re dealing with, the more difficult it can be to adapt to these rising costs. Having too much personal debt can hinder your long-term financial goals too.
So what’s the answer? Taking steps to reduce your debt can help. Especially for those Canadians who are impacted the most by lack of affordability and struggling to make ends meet.
- Three-out-of-10 respondents to our poll told us they don’t have enough money for basic needs.
- Half of Canadians say they’re living paycheque to paycheque.
- Women are more likely to struggle with affordability than men.
- Millennials have delayed having children, buying a home and saving for retirement over the past two years because they couldn’t afford it.
- Saving for retirement is a challenge for every generation still working. Two-thirds of Canadians told us they have little or no savings put away for retirement.
A deeper dive into the challenges facing women and millennials:
Women seem to be more challenged than men on a number of fronts: saving for long-term goals like retirement and major purchase and covering everyday costs like housing and groceries. Women are also more likely than men to say they have some to a lot of debt.
Millennials ranked very similar to women in the survey when it comes to feeling poorly or terribly prepared for purchasing a home, dealing with unexpected costs, affording children and saving for retirement.
What can women and millennials focus on to make life more affordable?
There will always be larger factors out of your control — like what’s happening in the Canadian economy as a whole, or in your city or workplace. So try to focus on those things you can change.
Begin by doing a thorough analysis of your current financial situation. Look at your individual or household income, your average bills and expenses, your total debt and how much you pay towards that debt each month and your short and long-term savings.
Use this information to guide your decision making moving forward as it relates to paying off debt, saving for the future and making sure you’re able to buy daily necessities.
If personal debt has become unmanageable, don’t hesitate to seek help to reduce your debt. You’re not alone in your financial challenges. And there are a variety of debt help options available including consolidation loans and consumer proposals. Even bankruptcy can be a fresh start for certain situations.
Our inaugural Affordability Index highlights the financial challenges facing too many Canadians on a daily basis. It’s a reminder that lack of affordability is an issue affecting a large majority of the population. To address these challenges we need to continue having conversations with those around us about how to deal with the problem. Don’t shy away from financial roadblocks like overwhelming personal debt. Take action now and start tackling them head on.