- But automatic savings programs help: More than 44,000 Hamilton and
Niagara customers use the TD Canada Trust "Simply Save" program -
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HAMILTON, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - Feeling the pinch of livings expenses,
more than half (54%) of Ontarians find it a real struggle or impossible
to save and 40% admit they have nothing saved for a rainy day,
according to the TD Canada Trust 2011 Report on Savings released today.
The report, which was developed by TD Canada Trust to understand
Canadians' habits, attitudes and knowledge on saving in the current
economy, found Ontarians struggle to save because many use disposable
income to service debts (40%), do not have enough money to cover living
expenses (33%) and shop beyond their means (15%).
But it's not all doom and gloom. Over a quarter (28%) of Ontarians have
four months or more of living expenses tucked away for a rainy day. And
according to the report, services like automatic savings programs are
helping Canadians take back the reins on their finances. Ontarians who
are enrolled in an automatic savings program are more likely to have at
least one to three months of living expenses saved, compared to those
who don't participate in an automatic savings program (71% versus
55%). Ontarians were also the most likely in the country to say
automatic savings programs would help them become more disciplined when
it comes to saving (32%).
There are a variety of automatic savings programs, and increasingly,
Canadians are taking advantage of them. For instance, a pre-authorized
transfer allows people to regularly and automatically save a portion of
their income (e.g. every pay cheque) without ever even seeing it, or
presumably, missing it. Others automatically transfer a small preset
amount into customers' savings account with an access card transaction,
like a debit purchase or an ATM withdrawal. Since its launch in May
2009, more than 44,000 TD Canada Trust customers in Hamilton and
Niagara are actively using the "Simply Save" program. Together, they
have saved through small transfers of up to $5 per transaction.
"Two years ago we were hearing from customers what a challenge it was to
save," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "We
launched the Simply Save program because it makes saving effortless.
And a small shift in your everyday behaviour can lead to more
meaningful changes. As the saying goes, take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves. If you're having difficulty, start small and automate, which helps take
the pain out of saving."
"We're proud of our customers in the Hamilton and Niagara region for
saving a total of more than $15 million dollars in only two years,"
says Jiuliano Ciardelli, District Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "For
an average family, the amount saved through the program can really help
when they need it. For example it could cover an unexpected car repair,
hockey equipment for the kids, or a weekend out of town. We encourage
our customers and all Canadians to challenge themselves go further. The
reality is that most Canadians need to put away significantly more than
they currently do for their future."
TOP SAVINGS GOALS:
Ontarians' top savings goals are to save for retirement (75%), to pay
off their credit card (72%), and to save for a major purchase (62%) or
vacation (59%). To achieve their goals, 58% say they save a portion of
their pay cheque every month, and almost a quarter (23%) say they save
more than 10% of their income.
"It helps to have a plan - for instance, aim to set aside at least 10%
of your pay cheque each time for emergencies, retirement and other
savings. If you're finding it hard to save that much right away, work
up to it," added Ciardelli, "but don't make the mistake of not saving
at all just because you can't reach that goal right away."
EASE THE SQUEEZE:
The report found that some Ontarians who are feeling the savings squeeze
are getting themselves further in debt through interest charges and
25% only make minimum payment on their credit cards
16% regularly pay late fees
15% have had to borrow money from family or friends
14% can't afford to pay all of their bills every month
Paying bills late or missing payments altogether will damage your credit
rating and make it difficult for you to borrow money in the future for
a real emergency or opportunity. "Pay bills online and set up automatic
payments from your everyday bank account to ensure you're never late.
If you're strapped for cash one month, then at least pay the minimum
required," says Russell. "If you're finding yourself in over your head
and unable to make your bill payments each month, then talk to your
bank about possible ways to consolidate your debt and get help managing
FINANCIAL LITERACY IS IMPORTANT TO ONTARIANS:
According to the report, 62% of Ontarians admit they are not very
knowledgeable about saving, and many are interested in receiving
professional advice on how to save money (58%), reduce their debt (53%)
and create a budget (49%). "A basic knowledge of financial literacy,
like understanding how to follow a budget, ensure you have enough money
to pay your bills, and put aside money into savings, is essential to
secure a solid financial future," says Russell.
About the TD Canada Trust 2011 Report on Savings
The TD Canada Trust 2011 Report on Savings polled a representative
sample of 1,003 adult Canadians - including 377 Ontario residents -
through a custom, online survey. The survey was conducted by Environics
Research between December 2-7, 2010.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5
million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services
from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and
business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as
well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes
banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through
24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over
1,100 branches - most open 8 'til late and many now open Sunday. For
more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the
sixth largest bank in North America.
SOURCE TD Canada Trust
For further information:
Liz Christiansen / Sinead Brown
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