A summer of overspending for many Canadians: CPA Canada survey

TORONTO, Oct. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Almost four in ten respondents (39 per cent) spent more than anticipated this past summer, according to a national survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

In many cases, anticipated expenditures were well off target with 29 per cent of the survey participants overspending by $1,000 or more. The research also reveals that the top four areas where spending exceeded expectations were yard work, transportation, home renovations, and dining out.

"It appears the wave of summer spending predicted in our earlier survey washed ashore," said Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada. A different group of people were surveyed in June and almost half of them were planning to spend more in the summer of 2015 when compared to the same season a year earlier."

"Sticking to a budget or simply tracking spending is never easy, especially with the opportunities to spend that can come with summer's warmer temperatures," added Wilson. "However, for those who overspent during the summer, it's not too late to regroup and regain control of your finances."

The good news emerging from the latest survey is that 42 per cent of respondents were essentially on budget this summer. Survey participants used a variety of strategies to keep their spending in check. The top three responses were:

  • Being careful, watchful and limiting spending and only buying the necessities (cited by 45 per cent of respondents)
  • Following a plan or budget and keeping track of expenditures and savings (referenced by 34 per cent of survey participants)
  • Staying home, not going out and not travelling (identified by 12 per cent of respondents)


"Those who were successful in managing their finances this summer all had one common element – discipline," stressed Wilson. "Showing discipline and taking the time to track your spending is key if financial targets are to be met."

For more on staying on track with budgeting, check out CPA Canada's financial literacy resources.

The CPA Canada summer spending followup survey and past surveys can be found at: cpacanada.ca/summerspending

This survey was conducted via telephone methodology within Canada by Harris Poll on behalf of CPA Canada from September 3 to September 9, 2015, among 1,007 adults ages 18 and older. The data were weighted by age, gender and region where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the Canadian adult population.  A sample of this size is considered accurate to within ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

About CPA Canada
The new Canadian designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), is now used by Canada's accounting profession across the country. The profession's national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is one of the largest in the world with more than 200,000 members, both at home and abroad. The Canadian CPA was created with the unification of three legacy accounting designations (CA, CGA and CMA). CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. CPA Canada also issues guidance and thought leadership on a variety of technical matters, publishes professional literature and develops education and professional certification programs. cpacanada.ca


For further information: Tobin Lambie, Principal, Media, CPA Canada, T: 416-204-3228, C: 647-302-3761, tlambie@cpacanada.ca, cpacanada.ca; Diana Sorace, Manager, Media Relations, CPA Canada, T: 604-694-6700, C: 604-551-4487, dsorace@cpacanada.ca, cpacanada.ca


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