Canadians are feeling somewhat better about their financial situation heading into a new year and decade, according to exclusive polling conducted by Ipsos for Global News.
“Two in three Canadians say their financial situation is good,” said Sean Simpson, vice president of Ipsos.
According to the poll data, 65 per cent of Canadians said they felt very good or somewhat good, a figure up four percentage points from one year ago.
The greatest barrier to the feeling of financial security is housing costs and debt, respondents said.
According to the new poll, 16 per cent of those polled said paying their mortgage or rent is the most significant obstacle to financial security. Servicing debt was identified by 14 per cent of respondents.
In the debt category, credit card debt (13 per cent) was the greatest challenge, followed by student debt (one per cent).
But those living in Atlantic Canada identified credit card debt (21 per cent) as a much more significant obstacle.
More men (53 per cent) said they faced no barriers to financial security compared to women (47 per cent) who responded to the poll question.
Educated Canadians and men over 54 said they did not face barriers.
Higher-income Canadians with an average household income of $83,000 per year felt the most comfortable compared to households with an annual income of $60,000.
Albertans are more likely than other Canadians to describe their financial situation as very or somewhat “bad.”
According to the poll, 49 per cent of Albertans described their financial situation negatively, 14 points higher than the national average.
Forty per cent of those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba felt financially squeezed compared to 37 per cent in Ontario, 30 per cent in British Columbia and 29 per cent in Quebec.
The most financially contented Canadians are in Atlantic Canada at 23 per cent.
“Roughly eight in 10 Canadians say they’re in a good place,” Simpson said in an interview.
A majority of Canadians (57 per cent) told Ipsos they faced some financial challenges in 2019.
The poll revealed 38 per cent of Canadians reduced non-essential spending, like travel or entertainment. Another 28 per cent said they had reduced spending on essential items, including food or clothing.
Albertans (38 per cent) claimed to have cut essential spending in 2019.
Nationally, 43 per cent of respondents said they did not cut spending in any way.
While many Canadians are feeling better about their financial security, it may be at the expense of their romantic life.
“It’s interesting to note an inverse relationship between one’s financial situation and one’s sex life,” said Simpson.
The Ipsos poll found that 59 per cent of Canadians rate their sex or romantic life as good. That’s a three percentage point decline over the last year.
Those who live in Ontario are the least satisfied (51 per cent) compared to Canadians living in Atlantic Canada (65 per cent) and B.C. (66 per cent).
Canadians most satisfied with their romantic life are in Quebec (67 per cent).
Simpson suggests there may be a correlation between financial satisfaction and declining romantic happiness.
“Maybe people are reining in their spending, maybe they’re not going out for that romantic dinner, buying the box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers and their sex life is suffering as a result.”
This Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, was an online survey of 1,002 Canadians conducted between Dec. 3 and 5, 2019. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.