House-rich and asset poor may become a reality for many Canadians

Four out of 10 Canadians have come up short to pay their bills, says a new survey

TORONTO, ON, May 24, 2016 – Many Canadians are struggling to bring the bacon home. A new survey from Manulife Bank Canada revealed four out of 10 Canadians have come up short at least once in the last year, unable to pay their household bills.asset poor

As a consequence, 60 per cent of Canadians believe they will not have enough money saved for retirement and the average Canadian owes $181,000 in mortgage debt, an increase from last fall when Canadians owed an average of $175,000.

“The reality for many Canadians is they live paycheque to paycheque. When you struggle to manage your existing debt, saving for your retirement may not be top of mind,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

Canadians are trying to minimize their debts however research from Manulife suggests if interest rates were to increase; this could push many Canadians over the edge into financial uncertainty depending on where they live in Canada. The survey revealed mortgage debt surged in Vancouver to an average of $259,000; it jumped in Calgary and Edmonton to $217,000 and rose to $194,000 in Toronto. “Our research has consistently found that becoming debt-free is among the top financial priorities for Canadian homeowners,” says Rick Lunny, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Bank of Canada in a statement.

To help Canadians build their savings while managing their bills, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, offers the following tips:

  1. Sit down and plan your financial future with a budget. Plan all of your expenses from how much you spend buying your lunch to your fluctuating hydro bill. When you plan your finances, you can track where your money is going.
  2. Start to save for your future. When you are knee high in debt, it can appear impossible to save money for your retirement. However every little bit helps. Create a habit where you remember to pay yourself first before paying anyone else every month.
  3. Determine what are your needs and wants. Impulse purchases are the fastest way to drain your bank account to the brink of extinction. You can avoid this by determining what are your needs vs. your wants. If you can live without it, you do not need it.
  4. Minimize tap and go purchases. It is easier to spend $100 using tap and go technology than taking $100 out of your wallet. To avoid over spending, place a limit on your digital purchases. This way you can spend what you are able to afford.

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About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:  Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: ncarr@consolidatedcredit.ca

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Shivani Karwal
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pr@consolidatedcredit.ca
1-800-656-4120 x 1055