Manitoba, Saskatchewan consumers more likely to take financial risks: survey

A new survey has found Manitobans and Saskatchewanians are more likely to make risky financial decisions than other Canadians.
A new survey has found Manitobans and Saskatchewanians are more likely to make risky financial decisions than other Canadians. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Manitobans and Saskatchewanians are living on the edge when it comes to their finances, according to a new survey.

The national survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP Ltd. found respondents from the two prairie provinces are more likely than other Canadians to make risky money moves.

The survey found 58 per cent of respondents from Manitoba and Saskatchewan admitted to engaging in what debt experts consider risky financial behaviours over the past year, according to a release from MNP Monday.

“Behaviours like borrowing more than you can afford, making purchases impulsively, or paying only the minimum balance on your debts, are all considered risky, and people should be cautious of engaging in them,” explained Gord Neudorf, a debt expert with MNP Ltd.

“They can lead to getting caught in an endless cycle of debt that is not easy to escape.”

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan, Manitoba face huge debt without massive changes: report

The most common risky behaviour among Canadians, according to the survey, is paying only the minimum balance on a credit card, something 21 per cent of Canadians admitted to doing.

But in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, that number jumps to 28 per cent, according to the survey.

The second most common financial mistakes made by Manitobans and Saskatchewanians are being lured into deals and only paying the minimum balance on a line of credit, according to the survey, which found 15 per cent of respondents admitted to making those money misdeeds.

Managing debt
Managing debt

“Recklessness and impulsivity may be behind some of these financial behaviours, but for others, their behaviours are simply based on desperation,” Neudorf said.

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“They are struggling to make ends meet and are simply doing so because they think it is necessary to stay afloat.”

While the survey found 32 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan respondents are debt-free, 16 per cent told surveyors they were not only not debt free, but feel they will never be debt-free.

READ MORE: Federal equalization payments to Manitoba to jump 10 per cent

The results come amid growing concerns about the country’s high level of consumer indebtedness as total debt per consumer surged to $71,979 in the second quarter, up from about $57,000 five years earlier, according to credit monitoring service Equifax.

The survey was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9, 2019. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 years and older were interviewed. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults been polled.

— With files from the Canadian Press