Amid ongoing strenuous economic conditions, the majority of Canadians now feel like they're losing financial control, new research from Interac Corp. has found.
The research, released on Tuesday, was carried out in partnership with non-profit organization Conscious Economics and revealed that a sizable 61% of Canadians say their feeling of financial control is being hindered.
Inflationary impacts have been devastating for Canadians, resulting in a ballooning cost of living and an increasingly heavy strain on their wallets. With this in mind, 71% of Canadians said that they felt inflation has made it more important than ever to feel in control of their money, and 49% said inflation has negatively impacted their confidence in managing everyday finances.
Younger Canadians, Canadians with a household income under $55,000, and women were the most likely to report facing financial barriers, which included inflation, a higher cost of living, and knowledge around financial terminology. In fact, more than a quarter of women, Gen Z, Millennials, and those with a lower household income agree that a lack of financial knowledge contributes to feeling financially overwhelmed.
“Our research indicates that Canadians, now more than ever, are in need of solutions to help knock down barriers and reinforce financial confidence during these uncertain economic times,” said Daria Hill, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Interac Corp.
As for where Canadians are getting their financial information, 40% reported being most comfortable with financial advice coming from family -- a number that's higher among younger Canadians and women. A quarter reported being comfortable taking advice from someone they can relate to, while 24% said they'd comfortably take advice from friends, and 19% from successful individuals.
Perhaps what's most interesting is that the majority of Canadians -- 63% -- said they believe that their financial behaviour in years past is negatively affecting their current level of financial confidence. This included choices like not having invested more at a younger age, spending beyond their means in the past, taking on credit card debt in the past, and "not asking enough questions about finances when they were younger." These regrets were most likely to be reported by women, Millennials, and Gen X.
In the wake of these findings, Interac and Conscious Economics announced the launch of a free digital learning platform, dubbed Mindfulness & Money, that will support Canadians' financial wellbeing skills with modules led by business owners, community experts, and a registered financial therapist.
“Building financial confidence among all Canadians is a key focus of our community impact efforts, because we believe that getting more out of life starts with feeling in control of your money,” Hill said. “Anxiety during these challenging circumstances is high and further complicated by uncertainty in markets."