Canadians are saving less in current economic environment: RBC poll

Canadians struggle to be disciplined savers

TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - Many Canadians are letting their saving habits slip in the midst of the current economic climate, according to the results of an RBC/Ipsos Reid Poll released today. The survey found that one-third of Canadians (34 per cent) indicate they are saving less money than they have in the past, with only one-in-five (19 per cent) saving more money.

"While we all intuitively understand the importance of a nest egg, especially given recent economic uncertainty, the survey results tell us that saving money is a challenge for all Canadians - regardless of age, income bracket or region," said Ashif Ratanshi, head, Branch Investments, Deposits and Direct Investing, RBC. "But saving money can be simple, once you get started and create good habits."

Albertans are more likely to report an increase in their personal savings (28 per cent), along with younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 (24 per cent). Residents of Ontario and British Columbia are more likely to be saving less (38 per cent respectively).

When it comes to saving, 70 per cent of Canadians find reaching a savings goal to be the biggest challenge, according to the survey. Two-thirds (66 per cent) find it difficult to set up a dedicated savings program and nearly six-in-ten Canadians (59 per cent) find it a challenge to stay focused on saving money.

"An important part of saving and a great place to start is knowing your spending habits," said Max Thompson, head of GICs & Savings at RBC. "Sixty-three per cent of Canadians find keeping track of monthly expenditures easy, so they are half way there. The other part of the equation is knowing what to do with what you have left over. The good news is that there are many options available to help achieve your saving goals."

    Here are four simple tips to help you save:

    1.  Pay yourself first. This is the golden rule of saving. Get in the
        good savings habit of setting aside some money from each paycheque.

    2.  Have a savings plan. A step-by-step plan will have financial
        milestones to strive for and make you more likely to continue saving
        if the going gets tough. Decide what you want and commit to it.
        Whether it's for a vacation or an emergency fund, setting goals helps
        you save for what's important to you.

    3.  Make savings a habit. Set up automatic online transfers to your
        savings account to help you save a portion of each paycheque. You
        won't have to think about it and you can control how much and how
        often a transfer is made.

    4.  Know yourself. Figure out what you actually spend by keeping track of
        how much you pay for little things like coffee and lunches away from
        home. A simple tactic such as cutting out one cup of coffee per day
        can save you a lot of money over time. Even a small amount of money
        grows over time.

For more resources to help you start saving, as well as tools, tips and calculators to help you achieve your savings goals, visit

The RBC omnibus was conducted by Ipsos Reid between September 28 and October 1, 2009. This online survey of 1,001 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Margins of error for regions will vary.


For further information: For further information: Media contact: Suzanne Willers, Corporate Communications, RBC, (416) 974-2727; Matt Gierasimczuk, Media Relations, RBC, (416) 974-2124

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