For Canadians, back-to-school is the unofficial New Year

Nearly half of Canadians gave themselves a "C" or lower when grading savings habits this year

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Beyond the students heading back to class this September, back-to-school affects us all according to a new study by Tangerine, which found that almost 60 per cent of Canadians view the season as a new beginning and unofficial New Year. The study also found that this fresh start may be necessary in terms of lessons in finance, as many Canadians show there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to their savings habits and goals for 2014.

When asked to grade their savings habits so far for 2014, nearly half of all Canadians (46 per cent) gave themselves a "C" or lower, saying they need to get back on track or haven't yet started saving this year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the same amount (46 per cent) admitted they do not have a regular savings plan set up to put aside money each month.

Canadians also don't make the grade when it comes to goal setting – only 31 per cent set a specific financial goal or resolution for 2014.

"Whether you're an avid saver or just starting out, creating and meeting financial goals takes a sustained effort," says Silvio Stroescu, Managing Director of Savings and Investments at Tangerine. "Managing personal finances can't be done on a reactionary basis once or twice a year, it's an ongoing habit that takes time and commitment."

A FRESH START

The good news is that the year is only two thirds over, and there is still time to focus on savings goals and resolutions. Nearly one-third of Canadians (31 per cent) plan to set a new financial goal before the year is over, and out of these respondents, most said their goal will be focused on saving more money (30 per cent) and paying down credit cards or other loans (20 per cent).

SAVING FOR A RAINY DAY

In addition to planning for personal goals, it's important to take into account unexpected expenses and to save money for a rainy day. The study found that 30 per cent of Canadians reported that they could not handle more than $500 in unexpected expenses without going into debt. Another 28 per cent couldn't handle unexpected expenses over $2,000.

Survey Methodology
From July 30 to July 31, 2014 an online survey was conducted among 1,510 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Tangerine
Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With more than 1.9 million clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada's leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning client service. From no-fee daily chequing and high-interest savings accounts, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and mutual funds, Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and mobile app to our 24/7 contact centres and our Café locations. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary. For more information, visit tangerine.ca.

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The "Tangerine™" trademarks are owned by The Bank of Nova Scotia and used under license. Forward Banking is a registered trademark of Tangerine Bank.

SOURCE Tangerine

For further information: Cayley Kochel, Tangerine, 416-497-5157 ext. 4013, ckochel@tangerine.ca