As the COVID-19 pandemic shows signs of dwindling, MNP’s latest Consumer Debt Index finds that so are Saskatchewan residents’ finances.
Just over 40 per cent of residents say they are not confident they can cover all of their yearly expenses without going further into debt; 25 per cent say the pandemic worsened their debt.
People unable to pay their monthly bills sit at the highest number recorded since September 2019 at 31 per cent.
MNP found there was very little spending during the pandemic, and the trend may continue as the people in the province say they will not be going out and spending right away.
Licensed Insolvency Trustee Michelle Scheller says, “Just because the pandemic is ending, the financial strain it has caused is not ending so I think residents are already being smart and being aware of that.”
Three in 10 Saskatchewan residents say they are concerned the rising interest rates could drive them towards bankruptcy.
“When the interest rates changed, they are in a position where they can’t manage those payments anymore,” said Scheller.
Almost 40 per cent of homeowners in Saskatchewan report being house poor, meaning majority of their income goes toward house payments, with next to nothing left over for basic living expenses.
“So if we look at the numbers that we have been tracking for a while now, basically pre-pandemic, they were already high. Saskatchewan was already feeling that they were struggling to make ends meet,” said Scheller.
She adds that the next step for anyone struggling financially is to first look at adjusting their budget, and then possibly reaching out for help.