Pattie Lovett-Reid: Report highlights COVID-19's devastating impact on pocketbooks
(Photo: iStock / Nattakorn Maneerat)
TORONTO -- There is no shame in asking for financial help. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians are in debt and many without emergency savings, according to the Credit Counselling Society's 2020 Consumer Debt report.
This is only one of many reports recently highlighting the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on Canadian pocketbooks.
What I found fascinating in the report is the disconnect between how receptive Canadians are managing their openness to receiving financial support. Eighty-six per cent acknowledge they could improve on at least one aspect of their financial management such as funding emergency savings, tucking money away for retirement and or even managing bill payments. However, only 17 per cent said they need help with managing their finances.
2020 has served as a wakeup call for all Canadians and yet we still have room to go to in destigmatizing financial support and advice.
We are sitting on the edge of a financial cliff as we enter into 2021 with families receiving less financial support from the government and higher taxes coming in the spring from aid provided by programs like the CERB to name a few of the challenges we will soon be facing.
Now is the time to reach out for help to set yourself up for financial success in 2021.
Even as we inch closer to a vaccine our new normal and the strength of the economic recovery still remains uncertain. The job market choppiness has one in four feeling anxious especially those encountering wage reductions or layoffs due to COVID-19.
Given the landscape it is still hard to feel optimistic about our finances as head into 2021.
One of the best ways to help protect yourself is to tuck some money away for a rainy day. Forty-four per cent stated in the survey they had less than one month of savings. It is a start but simply not enough. And from those who have managed to save some money their message is simply - prudent financial planning is all the motivation they need.