Albertans’ confidence in personal finances plummets in 2021: polls


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Albertans’ confidence in their personal finances has hit an all-time low, says an Edmonton-based MNP Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

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MNP has released its Consumer Debt Index every quarter since June 2017 and the most recent in December is the lowest on record, with Canada registering 88 points on the index, seven points lower than last quarter. This is the 19th version of the index, which measures Canadians’ attitude towards their debt and their ability to meet their monthly payment obligations.

“It’s a combination of the ongoing pandemic over the past two years, the resulting fatigue and from that we’ve seen an increase in the cost of living, the cost of groceries, the rise in inflation or the potential for higher inflation and higher interest rates in the foreseeable future,” said Zaki Alam, MNP’s insolvency trustee.

“All of these things come into the uncertainty surrounding a lot of Albertans and people across the country.”

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Zaki Alam, Licensed Insolvency Trustee at MNP.  Photo provided.
Zaki Alam, Licensed Insolvency Trustee at MNP. Photo provided. .jpg

Alam said half of Albertans say they are concerned about their current level of debt – it’s the highest rate in the country. Only 27% of Albertans say they are confident in their ability to deal with unforeseen events without increasing their debt load.

“A lot of people feel less confident about their ability to meet their financial obligations on a monthly basis if something unexpected happens,” he said. “So they’re not really sure they’re making enough money to cover their bills and debts.”

The MNP index also indicates that 45% of Canadians are not confident that they will be able to cover their living expenses this year.

“People who are trapped in debt often feel lonely and struggling, and to avoid the anxiety and stress that comes with it, it’s best to contact a Certified Insolvency Trustee as soon as they start to see signs of trouble. ‘alarm or the potential for missing payments,’ says Alam.

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The survey found that 58% of the financially well-off group spend less than 30% of their monthly income on housing costs, while 66% of the stressed group spend more than 40%.

Alam said people who are worried about their debt or see warning signs should set a monthly budget, seek advice from an insolvency trustee, and try to set aside savings for unexpected events, such as a vehicle breakdown.

“People can turn things around,” Alam said. “I think a lot of people have turned it around over the last year and one of the main reasons, as we know, is that we haven’t been able to spend that much money to some extent. , like going on vacation, going out to eat and stuff like that.

The latest MNP Consumer Debt Index data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between December 1 and December 7, 2021. A sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 and over were interviewed for the survey . In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadian adults had been polled.

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A study released Friday by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute (ARI) echoes MNP’s poll.

Two in five Canadians, or 39%, say they are worse off now than they were last year, the largest cluster of this sentiment in ARI’s 13 years of tracking.

And amid the highest level of inflation seen in 30 years, 57% of Canadians say it is currently difficult to feed their household, according to the ARI survey. In 2019, when the Angus Reid Institute asked this same question, 36% said this aspect of their finances was causing them difficulty.

Residents of Alberta at 49%, Saskatchewan at 47%, and Newfoundland and Labrador at 47% are the most likely to say they are worse off now that they weren’t last year, according to ARI data.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from January 7-12, 2022 with a representative random sample of 5,002 adult Canadian Angus Reid Forum members. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of ±2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

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