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Nearly half of Canadians say they spend faster than they earn, survey finds

A new survey finds that the overwhelming majority of Canadians say the average household carries too much debit and two-in-five don't expect to escape debt.

 Photo: consumer debt / ShutterstockPhoto: consumer debt / Shutterstock

A new survey finds that the overwhelming majority of Canadians say that the average household carries too much debit, while two-in-five do not expect to escape debt in their lifetime.

According to the Manulife Debt Survey, a whopping 94% of Canadians say the average household is in too much debt. What's more, 45% report that their spending is increasing faster than their income versus 33% in the spring.

The study also found that non-mortgage related debt is climbing, with 60% reporting debt on credit card(s) that carry a balance, which represents a twelve per cent increase over what was observed in the spring (48%).

"There is a financial wellness crisis, and it's affecting Canadians of all demographics," said Rick Lunny, President and CEO, Manulife Bank. "The good news is that there are intuitive, helpful tools out there to make people's financial decisions easier and lives better."

Boomer Canadians are in better financial shape than Millennials and Gen Xers, with three-in-five reporting that they are better off then their parents were at their age. In contrast, under half of Gen Xers and Millennials feel the same way.

Millennials reported feeling more optimistic than Gen Xers about their spending, however, and three-in-four feel it is, "important to have access to financial plans online, preferably through an app." As such, this generation feels that technology has been a boon for them financially.

"We know Canadians are looking for straightforward digital options to monitor and manage financial goals. That is why we built our new app experience from the ground up and centred it on what our customers need. We are dedicated to continuously developing and delivering digital, customer-centric tools – like our Savings Sweeps which automatically moves excess money into your savings account each night – helping Canadians save and manage their money better," said Rick Lunny, President and CEO, Manulife Bank.

The Manulife Bank of Canada poll surveyed 2,001 Canadians in all provinces between ages 20 and 69 with household income of more than $40,000. The survey was conducted online by Ipsos between September 20 to September 26, 2019. National results were weighted by gender, age, region and education.

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