The majority of British Columbians (61%) say they can’t keep up with the cost of living while many try to cut back on spending to make room to pay down debt.
While Statistics Canada reported that the rate of inflation dropped last month, prices have increased by 7.6% since July 2021. In a Op-ed on National Post, Tiff Macklem, governor of the central bank, said while it looks like inflation “may have peaked,” high prices and lower purchasing power will stick around for a while longer.
According to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute, Canadians are buying less in response.
When the asked if they have made any cut backs in spending, 58% of British Columbians said they are cutting back on discretionary spending, while 45% are driving less and 43% are delaying a major purchase.
The poll also found nearly a quarter of British Columbians are saving less money and have scaled back or even quit making contributions to RRSP or TFSA. Nearly 1 in 3 British Columbians have either scaled back or full out cancelled planned travel.
If British Columbians had money fall in to there laps, about half would stash it away.
When Angus Reid asked participants what they would do if they received a bonus or gift of $5,000 what would they do with it. 48% of British Columbians would put it into their savings account or invest it, 36% would pay down debt, 9% would spend it on a big ticket item, and 7% would use it to pay day-to-day expenses.
Three quarters of Canadians say they stress about money (76%), and 37% of British Columbians are worried they carry too much debt.
Half of Canadians say they could not handle an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more due to inflation, with one in ten (13%) saying any unexpected expense would be too much.
For the online survey done from Aug. 8-10, 2022, there were 2,279 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum participated. “For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding,” the Institute says.