This whitepaper and other consumer research studies also show the pandemic is weighing on the minds of working Canadians.
The 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey found that personal finance was the #1 stressor for Canadian employees insured under a group benefit plan, with 36% citing money as their main source of stress, followed closely by workload at 34%.
The events of the past two years have only added to their financial worries. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) reports that about half of Canadians have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, with women being disproportionally affected.
Take charge of your finances with these top tips
We turned to the Agency for expert advice on how Canadians can reduce their financial stress and boost their financial resilience. Here are some of their top tips for those who are facing financial hardship and/or who want to take charge of their finances:
- Use a budget planner to plan and manage your budget. The FCAC offers a free, interactive online budget planner including tips, advice and alerts to help you keep your finances in order.
- Set money aside to pay for unexpected expenses in an emergency fund. In general, it’s recommended that you save the equivalent of 3 to 6 months of your regular expenses.
- Plan to pay the total amount owing on your credit card by the due date to avoid interest charges. If this is not possible, pay as much as you can — at least your minimum payment.
- Avoid taking cash advances on your credit card and getting charged interest immediately.
- If you’re having trouble keeping up with your payments, be proactive and ask your financial institution what options they may have available for you.
- Get money from your Home Equity Line of Credit, which could potentially be a good replacement for emergency savings, under certain circumstances.
- Avoid taking on more debt. If you must borrow money, borrow only what you need, or look into options with your financial institution that can help you consolidate high interest debt such as credit card balances.
Get more financial advice at canada.ca/money
We also recommend you take a look at our Optional Benefits product, which includes options to top up your current coverage with Critical Illness, Life and AD&D insurance. Should the unexpected occur, you will receive a lump sum, tax-free cash payment ― to spend as you choose ― so you can focus on your recovery and not your finances. It’s a smart, easy and affordable way to secure your finances and help protect your hopes for the future.
Speak to your human resources representative to see if your plan includes these flexible coverage options or learn more below.