A new survey suggests that more than half of British Columbians are living paycheque to paycheque.
Fifty-three per cent of British Columbians polled by the Payroll Association of Canada said they wouldn’t be able to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by just a week, greater than the national average of 48 per cent.
Twenty-seven per cent of respondents in B.C. said they they couldn’t come up with $2,000 in an emergency and a whopping 92 per cent said they carry some kind of debt.
Many Canadians are facing something of a perfect economic storm – little to no wage growth, skyrocketing cost of living in places like Metro Vancouver and a newfound willingness to take on debt to make up the difference.
Scott Hannah of the Credit Counselling Society said Canada has become a nation of debtors with the average ratio of debt to income higher now than at any time in history.
“We’ve gone from a generation that valued delayed gratification to a generation that values immediate gratification – a big difference,” Hannah said.
Considering Canada’s current debt binge has happened at a time when interest rates have been at record lows, Hannah said he can’t remember a more perilous time for Canadians with debt and no savings.
– With files from Paul Johnson and The Canadian Press
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