Finances: Quebecers worried like never before

Finances: Quebecers are worried like never before

BETTING À DAY

This is not a call to action column, as they say in communications jargon.

You won't call your banker, you won't change your wallet, you won't change your credit card, you won't complain to a government agency, you won't revise your budget, whenever you have one.&nbsp ;

No, this chronicle will tell you above all that you are not alone.

You are not alone in worrying. Let's throw in the big number: 85%. This is the proportion of Quebec workers who say they are concerned about the current economic situation. 

This data is taken from the results of a survey obtained first by Le Journal. The survey was conducted by Léger on behalf of ÉducÉpargne and the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF).  

A lot of people are worried, and if retirees had been surveyed, the picture would not be better. Among the population earning $40,000 or less, 90% are fretting over the economy.

The exercise says nothing about it, but we can imagine of the main source of all these apprehensions: inflation which spares nothing and no one. 

“Unless you are of a certain age, you have not experienced such high inflation in your life. I can testify that this is the most important subject of concern at the moment, my clients are talking to me about it more than ever,” says financial planner Nathalie Bachand, chair of the board of ÉducÉpargne. 

People react

That would be enough, but it doesn't stop there. Young homeowners are hurt by rising mortgage rates, while older homeowners are nervous about stock markets that have been sinking since late last year. In the background, persistent rumors of a recession are growing stronger. 

The mood has already been better. 

No wonder that inflation and the economy in general have occupied a central place in the electoral campaign which is ending. 

The majority of workers surveyed have had to adjust, with 55% saying they have made changes to their personal finances. 

If we had to draw a composite picture of the person most likely to change habits, it would be a woman (61%), young (70%), single (63%) and living in a rental (61%).  

Among those whose habits have changed, 83% say they have reduced their spending on leisure; two out of three people have reduced their restaurant spending; 62% have slowed down on cultural outings and in bars; 44% say they have spent less than expected on vacation.

Still among the 55% who have changed their behavior, three out of four people have cut back on essentials, i.e. fuel (49%), groceries (46%) and telecommunications services (26%). 

In this group, almost a third have put off buying a home or renovating, and 19% have stopped working.  

Increased spending

The good news ? Even more people have increased their savings! Of all those who have changed their behavior recently, 20% are saving more money. “Many workers save more by reducing their expenses. For me, this is the surprise of the survey. Despite the difficult context, there are some who do what is necessary to preserve their financial health, they have the right reflex,” observes Nathalie Bachand. 

I told you that this column didn't call for action, but you can always meditate on it.  

A strong majority of people concerned

TO WHAT EXTENT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION? (rounded data)

Concerned: 85%

  • Very concerned: 39%
  • Somewhat concerned: 45%

Not concerned: 15%

  • Not very concerned: 13%
  • Not at all concerned: 3% 

♦ Web survey conducted between August 9 and August 16, 2022 among 1,000 full-time, part-time and self-employed workers aged 18 and over, residing in Quebec and able to express themselves in French or English.  

Finance: Quebecers worried like never before