Canadians remain focused on reducing debt, meeting financial goals amid global economic uncertainty

A new survey reveals one in three Canadians are in a better financial situation than this time last year

Highlights:

  • 62% of Canadians say they save money on an annual basis
  • More than three-quarters (78%) of Canadians that save on an annual basis are saving at least $1,000 a year
  • Uncertainty in the global economy is motivating 38% of Canadians to save more

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - With global economic conditions remaining largely uncertain and worries about consumer debt and overspending continuing to grow, it seems Canadians are heeding warnings about debt. According to a new survey commissioned by ING DIRECT, one in four Canadians (25%) say their most important financial goal in 2012 is paying off credit cards and loans, while 19% say saving money ranks highest.

More importantly, Canadians appear committed to ensuring those goals become a reality: 51% of Canadians say they are either on their way to achieving their most important financial goal for 2012, or feel certain they will reach their goals by the end of the year. Twenty-three per cent of Canadians admit they are nowhere near reaching their goal, but hold out hope that they still might make it before 2012 is over.

Overall, Canadians appear positive about their own financial outlook. A third (33%) of those surveyed said they are in a better financial situation now compared to 12 months ago, and 59% of survey respondents were confident they could manage a ten per cent increase in their monthly payments or rent. Sixty-six per cent of Canadians said they are able to set aside an extra $25 a week for savings, a marked increase from 2011 when only 50% of Canadians said they could put away that extra money.*

"It's encouraging to see more Canadians are optimistic about their financial future compared to last year, even with growing economic pressures at home and abroad" said Peter Aceto, president and CEO, ING DIRECT. "Despite these promising results, it's important not to become complacent. Maintaining this positive momentum and savings discipline are key to fulfilling short and long-term financial goals. Still, there are over a third of Canadians who say they can't afford to set aside an extra $25 a week, and 38 per cent who don't save any money on an annual basis. While the ability to save, and how much, varies on the individual and their current circumstance, denying impulse, non-essential purchases can have a big impact. $100 a month will bring savings of $6,000 in five years, plus interest - it's a shift in thinking and putting your future needs ahead of immediate desires."

Those who are able to put aside an extra $25 a week intend on doing so by adjusting their lifestyle and cutting back on non-essentials such as eating out (51%), doing less shopping (39%) and reducing spending on entertainment (27%).

In an effort to help Canadians cut back on non-essential spending, ING DIRECT recently introduced Small Sacrifices, a new feature of its mobile banking app for Android™ and Apple® . This new tool helps Canadians visualize how foregoing everyday indulgences, like buying a coffee or lunch, and redirecting that money through small incremental deposits can lead to big savings over the long term. Once Clients enter in how much money they spend on their average purchase, Small Sacrifices creates a chart showing how much that weekly amount would grow to in the near term (five years) and long term (25 years). The next time a user is tempted to spend on their non-essential purchase, they can choose to instead redirect that money from their THRiVE Chequing™ Account to a savings or retirement savings account with one simple click.

Other survey findings:

  • When asked about their most important short-term savings goal (less than five years away), Canadians cited paying down/off loans (24%), vacation (15%) and a rainy day/emergency fund (13%) as most important
  • Retirement (28%), paying down/off mortgage (16%) and travelling/vacation (14%) are the most important long-term savings goals (more than five years away) for respondents

From September 1st to November 30th, ING DIRECT is offering $100 Apple® Gift Cards to those who open a new THRiVE Chequing™ Account and switch their payroll. In addition, new and existing Clients with a minimum $100 deposit will be entered for a chance to win 1 of 10 $5,000 Apple® Gift Cards. For more information on this offer, visit http://www.ingdirect.ca/giftcard/.

About ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.8 million Clients and close to $40 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT is the bright way forward in everyday banking for Canadians, offering value added, simple products such as high interest savings accounts, including TFSAs, GICs and RSPs with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no-fee, daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $5 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473).

About the Survey

From August 21st to August 22nd, 2012, an online survey was conducted among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*From August 8th to August 9th , 2011, an online survey was conducted among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

® Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

™ Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

™ THRiVE Chequing is a trademark of ING Bank of Canada.

SOURCE: ING DIRECT

For further information:

Jessica Bianchi, ING DIRECT
416-497-5157 ext 4453
jbianchi@ingdirect.ca

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ING DIRECT

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