The Financial Planning Standards Council and Credit Canada offer helpful tips to escape the financial blues.
“Blue Monday” (usually the second Monday of January) until Valentine’s Day is considered the saddest time of year with its short, cold, bleak days. The Financial Blues survey from the Financial Planning Standards Council and Credit Canada finds more than half (53%) of Canadians are already feeling financially blue with the younger generations especially struggling.
The survey asked Canadians: “when it comes to your finances, what makes you blue this time of year?” Here are some of the standout findings:
- One-in-five Canadians (20%) has a credit card balance larger than their savings account.
- 6% of Canadians have already broken their financial new year resolutions.
- 21% of Canadians over-spent during the holidays.
- Younger adults aged 18-44 are especially blue about finances this time of year (68% versus 41% for those 45 and older).
“The upcoming month between Blue Monday and Valentine’s Day is often considered the saddest time of year, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said author, personal finance educator and FPSC’s Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn. “If you need help determining appropriate actions towards your goals, you may want to seek out expert assistance from a CFP® professional. Regardless of your situation, you deserve financial wellness in 2018 and you're never too young or old to get started.”
“Obviously, we are seeing a good deal of Canadians stressed out about their financial situation,” states Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada CEO. “The takeaway message is that there is hope. Develop a plan, tackle debt, and realize your financial potential. There are professional resources available to you, so don't feel you need to go it alone.”
Tips to get in shape
If you’re looking to get in physical shape, you need to do three things:
1. Weigh in and get real - where are you right now?
2. Count your calories - what are you putting into your body and what is the junk that can be cut?
3. Consider getting help - like a personal trainer.
And if you’re looking to get your finances in shape, you need to do three things as well:
1. Weigh in financially – where are you, what do you owe, what interest are you paying? What’s your income, benefits – gather the basics for a snapshot of your financial affairs.
2. Count your financial calories - Consider the 30-Day anti-budget, an exercise in awareness and behavioural change.
3. Get help - There is a professional to help you regardless of your situation. If you are overwhelmed with debt, seek a non-profit credit counsellor and if you are ready to plan for the future, access a Certified Financial Planner® professional. These people will take away the taboo of talking money and put you at ease eliminating any shame and embarrassment.
The key is, you don’t have to be in peak physical shape before you hire a personal trainer. Neither do you need to have your finances in order before you find a professional financial planner. The bottom line is you shouldn’t suffer alone.
About the Financial Blues Survey
An online survey of 1550 Canadians was completed between Jan 2 and 5, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally, and has a retention rate of 90%.
For help combating the financial blues, connect with a professional financial planner in your area using our Find Your Planner tool.
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Find more tips to improve your financial and emotional well-being by reading 4 steps to financial peace of mind, A solid financial plan boosts financial and emotional well-being and watch Why women stress more about money.