TORONTO, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ -- With the tax deadline looming, Canadians are feeling the penny pinch. A new survey by digital offers site RetailMeNot.ca revealed that while 88 per cent of Canadians file their taxes on time, more than half aren't satisfied with their annual returns. The lump sum payment isn't enough to offset the high cost of living, which is prohibiting them from keeping debt in check and planning for the future. In fact, 47 per cent of employed Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque, maxing out their budgets on housing costs. On average, employed Canadians are spending 40 per cent of their monthly salary on housing costs*, 10 per cent higher than the suggested GDS ratioi.
No longer just a smart thing to do, savvy spending should be a priority for Canadians, especially as the majority (74 per cent) of them fail to put money aside for discretionary spending. This can lead to unexpected debt like climbing credit card bills and booming lines of credit. Recognizing this, the majority of the country (64 per cent) wants to save more for those unexpected costs.
However, it is easier said than done. The average employed Canadian saves 12 per cent of their monthly income despite believing the ideal amount is 18 per cent. Canadians know they need to make a change, with 51 per cent indicating they should try to better manage spending by developing a household budget. Others would try to do the same by setting a specific financial goal for the future (39 per cent) or searching for a discount or coupon before buying anything (31 per cent).
"With tax season in full swing, the time for a financial reality check is now. Canadians are maxing out their budgets on essentials like housing, food and transportation, so smart spending is no longer optional," says Kristen Nelson, communications manager for RetailMeNot, Inc. "Searching for a coupon or discount before buying anything – even groceries and takeout – can be a quick and simple way to save."
Many Canadians (29 per cent) are planning to save by filing their own taxes online this year, while another 29 per cent will use an accountant. Seventeen per cent of Canadians plan to fly solo and file on their own without any help.
When tax refunds role in, the majority (31 per cent) will be putting that money toward a rainy day fund rather than investing (14 per cent) or contributing to an RRSP (11 per cent) – despite 65 per cent wishing they had started saving earlier for retirement. Shockingly, 19 per cent of those 55 and over have not started saving for retirement.
Other survey findings include:
- Rainy Day Funds Are Dry: Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed don't save each month for unexpected emergencies;
- Being Green Costs "Green": Despite Earth Day being April 22, 65 per cent of Canadians agree it is too expensive to purchase environmentally friendly products, and 66 per cent care more about their budgets than being green. Eighty two percent of people are most likely to purchase green products if they are on sale;
- Cost of Education: Canadians aged 35 to 54 who say they contribute to an RESP deposit an average of $908/month;
- Future Saving: Canadians that contribute to an RRSP or TFSA save a monthly average of $620 or $354, respectively.
* Housing costs include rent or mortgage payments, plus utility costs.
About the survey:
An online survey was conducted by Angus Reid from March 25 to 26, 2015, among 857 randomly selected employed Canadian adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.4%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted by education, age, gender, region and language Census data.
About RetailMeNot, Inc.
RetailMeNot, Inc. (http://www.retailmenot.com/corp/) operates the world's largest marketplace for digital offers. The company enables consumers across the globe to find hundreds of thousands of digital offers for their favorite retailers and brands. During the 12 months ended December 31, 2014, RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced nearly 700 million visits to its websites, and during the three months ended December 31, 2014, monthly mobile unique visitors totaled 21.2 million. In 2014, RetailMeNot, Inc. estimates $4.4 billion in paid retailer sales were attributable to consumer traffic from digital offers in its marketplace. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio includes RetailMeNot.com, the largest digital offer marketplace in the United States; RetailMeNot.ca in Canada; VoucherCodes.co.uk, the largest digital offers marketplace in the United Kingdom; Deals.com in Germany; Actiepagina.nl, a leading digital offers site in the Netherlands; Bons-de-Reduction.com and Ma-Reduc.com, leading digital offers sites in France; Poulpeo.com, a leading digital offers site with cash back in France; and Deals2Buy.com, a leading digital offers site in North America. RetailMeNot, Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "SALE." Investors interested in learning more about the company can visit http://investor.retailmenot.com.
i "Know How Much Home You Can Afford," RBC Royal Bank, http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/mortgages/how-much-can-you-afford.html
SOURCE RetailMeNot, Inc.