A new report developed by TD Canada Trust discovered that working off to pay off debt and cover living expenses, more than half of Canadians find it a real struggle or impossible to save, while 38% admit that they have no savings. The new report is the TD Canada Trust 2011 Report on Savings.
This report was developed by TD Canada Trust to understand Canadians’ habits, attitudes and knowledge on saving in current economy.
What did TD find?
The TD Canada Trust 2011 Report on Savings found that Canadians struggle to save because many use disposable income to service debts (39%), while other Canadians do not have enough money to cover living expenses (30%), and 12% shop beyond their means.
It is not all that bad, especially when you consider the fact that 30% of Canadians have four months or more of living expenses tucked away for a rainy day. According to the report, services such as automatic savings programs are helping Canadians take control of their finances.
Looking at this, TD introduced the Simply Save Program some time ago, which is great. It helps you put away a little money every time you simple use your debit card to make purchases or ABM withdrawals.
Canadians who have enrolled in an automatic savings program are more likely to have at least one to three months of living expenses saved, compared to those who do not participate in an automatic savings program.
TD is not the only one using these types of savings program; many other banks have introduced this sort of program, where money is put away whenever you spend using your debt card. One example is Scotiabank, and their Bank the Rest Savings program.
TD found that the top goals for Canadians include 73% for retirement, 72% to pay off their credit card, and 58% to save for major purchases or vacation. In order to achieve their goals, 60% of Canadians have said that they save a portion of their pay cheque every month, while a quarter have said they save more than 10% of their income.
What can I do to save more?
Automatic savings programs are great to help you save, however is that going to be enough in the long run? For the most part, no; to save the most you should be able to set a budget and determine what the maximum amount is you can save.
Creating a budget will enable you to take your money the distance, however it is only as good if you can follow it. If you are among the many people unable to set a budget to follow, because you expenses vary month to month, or you can barely keep track of it, do not worry because there are solutions.
One great solution is mint.com, this is a personal finance website that allow you to view your accounts in one location and easily determine what you have done with it and what you can do with it. I wrote a an article covering what Mint can do for you, take a look and maybe you can determine whether it can help you manage your finances.
Saving takes some sacrifice, but in the end reaching your savings goals will be like no other feeling because you would be accomplishing something you set out to do.
image source: Thomas Hawk