Scotiabank: Let the Saving Begin, Prairies!

    
    -   Lack of savings or funds primary reason Prairie residents postponed a
        major purchase in 2009
    -   Scotiabank expert addresses common savings questions to help
        residents reach their financial goals
    

CALGARY, July 29 /CNW/ - In 2009, more than half of Prairie residents (52 per cent) postponed a major purchase, according to a recent Scotiabank study conducted by Harris/Decima assessing the saving patterns of Canadians. Of the residents who put off a major purchase, 39 per cent said that the main reason they delayed their purchase was due to a lack of savings or funds.

"Delaying a major purchase may be frustrating for some, but the research demonstrates that many Prairie residents understand the benefit of living within their means," said Jan Austen, Scotiabank Branch Manager, Cochrane, Alberta. "This trend of putting off a major purchase is one that we are seeing right across the country and, on a positive note, Canadians have told us that they plan to make these purchases this year with money they have saved."

In fact, before making a major purchase, more than one-quarter (26 per cent) of people in the Prairies reported that they would most likely save up for the purchase or wait until they can pay for the whole thing at once.

"It is great that Prairie residents want to save up for their purchases and we want to help them reach their savings goals," said Ms. Austen. "Between saving up for major purchases, setting aside money in an emergency fund and saving for your future, knowing how to save and how much to save can be a bit overwhelming."

Ms. Austen answers a few common questions that people have when it comes to saving money:

What is the easiest way to save money?

"In one word - automatically," advised Ms. Austen. "The majority of Prairie residents, 66 per cent, save a portion of their money at least once a month. Automatic savings is the easiest way to put aside money without having to make significant changes to your everyday behaviour."

How much of my annual income should I be saving?

"The question is not 'how much should I be saving' but 'how much can I afford to save'," recommended Ms. Austen. "It's really important to take a look at your monthly cash flow and use that as your starting point. However, a good rule of thumb should be to save at least 10 per cent from each paycheque."

How much should I have set aside in a nest egg in case of emergencies?

"When it comes to setting aside rainy day money, there isn't a one size fits all answer," Ms. Austen noted. "That said, best practice is to set aside between three to six months worth of your living expenses in case of an emergency. One-third of Prairie residents are on the right track and have an amount equal to three months or more of their household expenses reserved for a rainy day.

"So once you determine how much you should be saving, work with your financial advisor to find the best automatic savings solution that will help you reach your goal," concluded Ms. Austen. "It's time to Let the Saving Begin."

For more information about saving automatically, visit www.letthesavingbegin.com.

Let the Saving Begin is a Scotiabank program designed to inspire and empower Canadians to get on track with their saving, investing and borrowing habits.

Built on three simple principles, Let the Saving Begin encourages Canadians to:

    
    -   Save automatically, because it works;
    -   Invest for your future, because no one else will; and
    -   Borrow to get ahead, not fall behind.
    

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With close to 68,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve approximately 14.6 million customers in some 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With more than $526 billion in assets (as at April 30, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

The Scotiabank Spring Savings Study was conducted online using Harris/Decima's online panel. A total of 1,006 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of panel members across Canada, of which 204 surveys were completed from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The study was conducted from March 26th, 2010 to March 31st, 2010.

This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email addresses from Harris/Decima's panel were pulled at random, according to population and gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only once. Subsequent to completion of the study, the data was weighted by region, age, and gender.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information: For further information: Patty Stathokostas, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-3625, or patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital.com


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