- But automatic savings programs help: More than 116,000 Albertans use
the TD Canada Trust "Simply Save" program -
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CALGARY, April 20 /CNW/ - Trying to balance their books, Albertans are
most likely in the country to admit they neglect their savings accounts
in favour of paying off debts (49% versus 39% nationally), 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 more than half (55%) of Albertans find it a real
struggle or impossible to save.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Almost one third (31%) of Albertans
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.
Canadians 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
(75% versus 57%).
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 116,000 Albertans are actively using the TD Canada
Trust "Simply Save" program. Together, they have saved nearly $60
million dollars 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 Alberta for saving a total of almost
$60 million dollars in two years," says Tom Price, District Vice
President - Calgary, TD Canada Trust. "For an average family, the
amount saved through the program could cover an unexpected car repair,
hockey equipment for the kids, or a weekend out of town for parents. 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:
Albertan's top savings goals are to save for retirement (79%), to pay
off their credit card (75%) or line of credit or loan (65%), and to
save for a vacation (63%). To achieve their goals, 59% say they save a
portion of their pay cheque every month, and 27% say they save more
than 10% of their income.
"Aim to set aside 10% of your pre-tax income each month for emergencies,
retirement and other savings. If you're finding it hard to save, work
up to it," says Russell, 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 Albertans who are feeling the savings squeeze
are getting themselves further in debt through interest charges and
20% have had to borrow money from family or friends
18% only make minimum payment on their credit cards
18% regularly pay late fees
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 ALBERTANS:
According to the report, 68% of Albertans admit they are not very
knowledgeable about saving, and many are interested in receiving
professional advice on how to save money (59%), reduce their debt (56%)
and create a budget (46%). "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 106 Albertans - 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
Paradigm Public Relations
TD Bank Group