A new poll by Scotiabank has revealed 75% of Canadians are worrying about their finances. On average, Canadians are worrying about their finances 10 hours a week, the equivalent of 3 weeks a year, up 25% from 2020. A third of Canadians, or 32%, say worrying about their finances keeps them awake at night.

Results from Scotiabank’s third annual Worry Poll show that Canadians spend the most time worrying about,

  • Growing or protecting their investments (19%), 
  • being able to pay for day-to-day expenses (15%),
  • and paying off debt (13%).

Contributing to their retirement is an increasing source of concern for Canadians, with 12% now worried about planning for their retirement, up from 8% in 2020.

Personal finance ranks fourth (33%) on Canadians’ list of items they are most stressed about, only behind the rising cost of living (52%) and the respondents’ own physical health (45%).

Financial Worry Causing Canadians to Lose Sleep, Scotiabank poll (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

Younger Canadians worry most
The pandemic has changed the way people view their short and long-term money habits. Results from the Worry Poll show that age plays an important factor when it comes to worrying about finances.

Canadians between the ages of 18-34 worry an average of 12 hours per week, those aged 35-54 worry an average of 11 hours a week, while Canadians 55+ worry on average, just 6 hours a week.

Survey results show that Canadians with lower household incomes spend significantly more time worrying about their finances.

Households with an income of less than $50,000 spend an average of 14 hours a week worrying about their finances, compared to households with incomes of $100,000 or more who only spend an average of 6 hours a week worrying about finances.

Provincial discrepancies

Depending on where Canadians live impacts how much they worry about their finances.

Those living in Western Canada reported spending around an average of 12 hours a week worrying about their finances. This is a stark contrast to those in Quebec who spend an average of just 7 hours, and those in Ontario who spend an average of 9.

Residents in Alberta (60%) and the Atlantic (62%) were the most likely to say they are particularly stressed about the rising cost of living, while those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were less likely (43%).

Almost half of Albertans surveyed (45%) ranked their finances among the top three concerns causing them the most stress.

Don’t lose sleep over your investments 
Despite the significant amount of time spent worrying about finances, 63% say they have not worked with a financial advisor in the last 12 months.

Canadians who have worked with an advisor are less likely to say they worry about their finances.

And even if they do worry, their worries are focused on how to grow and protect their investments (31%), compared to paying for day-to-day expenses (19%) or paying off debt (15%).