Canadians struggling to save money: RBC
Published Thursday, February 9, 2012 12:32PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 7:24AM EDT
More than half of Canadians don't have savings set aside for emergencies, but they are paying down more personal debt, an RBC survey found.
The RBC Consumer Outlook Index released Thursday also found 46 per cent of Canadians believe their personal finances are standing still.
"We are concerned that 57 per cent of Canadians said that they don't actually have any savings set aside for that rainy day," RBC vice-president of personal lending Richard Goyder told CTV's Canada AM Thursday.
"As individuals there's not much we can do about the economy as a whole, but we can prepare ourselves, our family, for when things turn down in the economy," he said.
As well, only 32 per cent of Canadians surveyed in January were positive about the country's economy, down from 43 per cent at this time last year and 56 per cent in 2010.
But the news isn't all glum as the survey also found Canadians in the last quarter were starting to heed advice to pay down their non-mortgage debt. It found the average person reduced that debt by about 10 per cent.
Goyder believes people are listening to the dire warnings about personal debt in the media and are starting to worry as the global economy continues to struggle.
As for the lack of savings, Goyder said individuals can become too concerned with debt and forget, or are unable, to put enough money away to protect themselves from an economic downturn.
"It's very good to have a plan because a plan will help you understand how much is coming in, how much is going out and maybe make sure you balance that, saving a little bit for a rainy day as well as keeping your personal debt under control," he said.
On the upside, about 21 per cent of Canadians believe they are making progress financially and paying down debt is a positive indicator, he said.
"At least people feel that their situation is stable," Goyder said. "We also didn't see much change in the level of employment anxiety across the country, which is also good."
The quarterly online survey of 4,479 Canadians was conducted in early January.