- But automatic savings programs help: Nearly 38,000 Atlantic Canadians
use the TD Canada Trust "Simply Save" program -
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TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - One-in-five Atlantic Canadians (22%) find
saving "impossible" because many are putting any money they have left
at the end of every month towards their debts (43%), 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 69% of Atlantic Canadians rated paying off their credit
cards and lines of credit/loans were top financial priorities.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Half (52%) say they save a portion of
their pay cheque every month and 34% have one to six months 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, nearly 38,000 Atlantic Canadians are actively using the TD Canada
Trust "Simply Save" program. Together, they have saved more than $13
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 Atlantic Canada for saving a total of
more than $13 million dollars in two years," says Russell. "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
TOP SAVINGS GOALS:
Atlantic Canadians' top savings goals are to save for retirement (70%)
and pay off their credit card (69%) and line of credit / loan (69%),
but 53% admit they have no money saved in case of an emergency.
"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 many Canadians 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
19% regularly pay late fees
19% 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 CANADIANS:
According to the report, 74% of Atlantic Canadians admit they are not
very knowledgeable about saving, but they were the most likely in the
country to be interested in receiving professional advice on how to
save money (61%), reduce their debt (61%) and create a budget (55%).
"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 77 Atlantic Canadians -
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
Corporate and Public Affairs
TD Bank Group