Half Of Canadians Have $200 Or Less In Savings

Tyler Durden's picture

Two months ago, when quoting the CEO of cell phone insurer Assurant, who appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss business trends, one of his quotes caught our attention: “the reality is, half of Americans can’t afford to write a $500 check,” Colberg said. We decided to look into the CEO's claim about the woeful state of US finances. What we found is that according to a recent Bankrate survey of 1,000 adults, 57% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a mere $500 unexpected expense. Turns out the CEO was right. And while that may appear dire, it is a slight improvement from 2016, when 63% of U.S. residents said they wouldn’t be able to handle such an expense.

The Bankrate survey findings echoed research published last year by the Federal Reserve, which found that 46% of respondents said they would be challenged to come up with even less, or $400, to cover an emergency expense, and would likely borrow or sell something to afford it. When the Fed asked what types of emergency expenses Americans had actually faced in the last year, more than one out of five cited a major unexpected medical expense. The average expense: $2,782, or almost seven times higher than the Fed’s hypothetical $400 surprise bill.

How does this stunning statistic compare to some other developed nations?

It turns out that the state of half of US finances, deplorable as it may be is positively shining, not to mention "twice as good", when compared to the country's neighbor to the north, where a recent Ipsos survey on behalf of accounting firm MNP, found that more than half of Canadians are living within $200 per month of not being able to pay all their bills or meet their debt obligations. Needless to say, if $500 in savings is bad, half that amount is outright bizarre.

“With such a small amount of wiggle room, any kind of unanticipated hardship, such as a job loss or even a car repair, could send an already struggling family into financial despair,” Canada's Global News quoted Grant Bazian, president of MNP’s personal insolvency practice, which is one of the largest in Canada.  He also revealed that for 10 per cent of Canadians, the margin of error when it comes to household finances is even thinner, at $100 or less.

It gets worse as those with anything at all left at the end of the month were in better shape than many: A whopping 31% of respondents said they already don’t make enough to meet all their financial obligations.

The poll also found that while debt is causing Canadians a fair bit of stress, few appear to be overly worried or on track to buff up their monthly financial cushion. Two-thirds of survey takers said they are “less than very confident” about their ability to create an emergency fund.

And then this hair-raising finding from the survey: "Roughly 60 per cent said they don’t have a firm grasp of how interest rates affect debt repayments." According to Bazian, the statistic helps explain why many indebted Canadians end up taking on more debt and high-cost loans. “That’s how so many end up in an endless cycle of debt,” he noted. It also explains charts such as this one, showing the harrowing difference surge in Canadian household debt, which has grown by 60% since the start of the century.

According to Global News, the concerning data also raises the question of whether Canadians understand the implications of an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada. A decision by the BoC to start lifting its key policy rate from historic lows would raise the cost of carrying debt across the country; should rates raise enough Barclays will have to change its caption in the chart above. A one percentage point rise in the BoC’s key interest rate would likely push up variable mortgage rates by a similar amount. A variable mortgage rate that’s currently set at 3 per cent, for example, would go up to 4 per cent, which represents a 33 per cent increase in interest payments for the mortgage holder. That’s an extra $83 a month for every $100,000 in outstanding mortgage debt.

And to show just how bad the debt situation in Canada truly is, here are some more charts which are largely self-explanatory.

And perhaps the most important - and troubling - chart of all:

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Silver Bug's picture

Technically speaking, the east now has more in real savings than the West. This fact is incredibly scary and shows just how much of a house of cards we live in. The house will be toppled one day. It is only a matter of time.



syzygysus's picture

the question is will it topple or simply vanish?


hope for topple..

Gilnut's picture

Everything is transitory.  BTFATH. Go big or go home.  /s

DocMims's picture

Why save when savings are inflated away as a matter of fed policy?  Spend Spend Spend then you can be the one that defaults not the banks.

Joe Davola's picture

What is that, like a weekend's worth of beer?

JRobby's picture

Clearly not counting the 20 cases of beer in the garage

Countrybunkererd's picture

If they would stop driving up and down the I-95 with all the added weight of beer in their van maybe they would have more.

Paul Kersey's picture

Roses are red.
Violets are purple,
but I ain't got the money
to buy maple surple.

Time to slaughter Babe the blue ox.


Déjà view's picture

'Canadian' "Woman Stay Away From Me...Mama Let Me Be"...

AltRight Girl's picture

Is just about time for their socialist masters to impose some bigger taxes on them peasants.

Being half French they deserve to suffer for the choices they made. Feel the burn, boiling slowly, just like the original frogs:

Macron’s Victory Will Bring France a Massive Carbon Tax

Burltron's picture

Half French? Lol. You're half fried.

Chandos's picture

Roughly 22% of Canadians speak French on a daily basis; roughly 30% of Canadians say they can speak/ understand French.

I'm a Quebecer by the way so...yeah..I've been there.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Canada wasted BILLIONS on bilingualism, no one west of St.Laurant Blvd gives a flying fuck about french. Thank that commie cocksucker Trudeau for Federalism, Bilingualism, and multiculturalism, and oh ya, he was the traitorous prick that took Canada off The Bank of Canada Act, which allowed the government to print its own currency rather than borrow it from International banksters.

His twat of a son was brought in to finish the job his piece of shit father started.

I'll give the Quebecers credit, they at least tried to hold onto their sovereignty, but their treasonous polititions sold them out to the highest bidder. Montreal was once a great city, i dont go there anymore, its full of turd worlders.


political correctness, tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, feminism,....globalist bullshit.

Lore's picture

No offense, but I suspect that the 22% statistic is inflated, because you just don't hear any French west of Ontario except at bilingual schools and in federal government offices, and it's a mystery to me why Anglophones take their children to French schools because it certainly is NOT the language of business, especially not going forward.  Better would be to take the advice of Jim Rogers and teach your kids eastern languages.  

I find this article distasteful, for the information it provides, but also for what's left unsaid. Watch any episode of Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Til Debt Do Us Part and you see grown adults handling their personal finances like irresponsible, retarded children, just partying and impulse-buying whatever they want, living wayyy beyond their means, always on plastic, without even looking at the price. Most have reached the limit on multiple credit cards and taken out credit lines and don't even know the interest rates. They don't even open the monthly bills -- just pile 'em somewhere out of sight.  It's weird.  And naturally, such blindness makes these people prime meat for psychopathic debt-traffickers: some of the credit terms are stunning.  

Importantly, most of the people are making decent wages and are fully capable of turning their situation around by making a few lifestyle changes to start living within their means. And most make the attempt, and succeed.  It's just simple things, like knowing what you can afford and learning to say NO to everything else. Select cheaper alternatives. Negotiate better terms. Pay off old debt.  Clip coupons.  You do NOT need the biggest house.  You do NOT need a new car.  You do NOT need to LEASE.  You do NOT need new consumer electronics.  STOP SMOKING.  STOP BOOZING.  QUIT with all the restaurants and expensive holidaying and discretionary shit that piles up in your closets and storage space.  JUST SAY NO, and when you NEED (not want) something, PAY CASH.  When someone offers you additional credit, SAY NO.  THEY CAN NOT FORCE YOU.

The article seems to imply that all these people are somehow lost.  Again, the fix is a determined, sustained change in outlook and lifestyle.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Read the book The Monsterous Trick.



It details how radicals from the french canadian minority invaded, then dominated the federal government in Ottawa. This was enabled by forced bilingualism on federal public servants, military and the public at large.Centuries old tradition of inherent freedom under common law was replaced with the Quebec civil code which legislated rights and power under a central authority.

The promotion of the french language entrenched the growth of the state,(Official Languages Act) and underminds the military. Militant labour unions masquerading as social movements had the government by the balls..By forcing madatory french in the federal government, and the military,a new class of canadians were born, francaphones rising to positions of power that no enlishg speaking canadian could apply for. The Meach Lake Accord (an amendment to the constitution) was even worded in such a way as if the canadian poeple ever figured out the monsterous trick, it can never be undone.

Of course you can guess by now who the leader of the liberal party soon to become prime minister was...thats right Pierre Elliot the cocksucker Trudeau.


Since then Canada has been for sale to the highest bidder, Canadians dont say a fucking thing, because of political correctness (self censorship) and after years of brainwashing, still believe they live in the greatest country on earth, constantly lowering their expectations, justifying that no matter how shitty it gets, its still better than most other places.




Lore's picture

Okay, I'll take a look. Thanks.

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Canadian QE to be launched in 5, 4 ,3, 2...........   The Looney does a header into the frozen tundra, Trump trashes NAFTA, The icey slope has begun in Canada.

SolidAssets's picture

she was a waitress in a cocktail bar now she owns a jet... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

Bytor325's picture

im not going to click this link you post to every thread but im curious, is this the story of Nancy Pelosi's rise to fame or a link to a scam website?

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Security!!! we have code brown in the lobby, i repeat, code brown

thedespised's picture

They have been doing stealth QE for years. Hilariously, as a Canadian the population at large has the mentality, if we're heading over the cliff, at least we go together.. INSANE.

AldousHuxley's picture

only the poor countries are missing out on getting rich through debt.


debt is the biggest FED giveaway at the moment.


BLOTTO's picture

The west is more brainwashed and poisoned than the east.
Im trying to purchase a home in the GTA area in Ontario and the market is completely fucked and sick.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Dont do it man! friends dont let friends buy overpriced real estate in Toronto

Gilnut's picture

In all seriousness Doc I've been converting a large portion of my "savings" into hard assets over the past few years.  When this shit-show finally does implode I'm hoping some of them survive....or help me to do so.

AGuy's picture

"Why save when savings are inflated away as a matter of fed policy? Spend Spend Spend then you can be the one that defaults not the banks."

Those Canuks are prudent investors! Why save in a currency is is going to rapidly devalue? /sarc

Mercury's picture
Half Of Canadians Have $200 Or Less In Savings


Time to import more third-world peasants. DUH!

Fester's picture

But 99% can come up with the cash for weed or a tat.

Good times

CrimsonAvenger's picture

You can put the tat on a credit card. Problem solved. And the weed...well damn man, don't touch my weed money.

Offthebeach's picture

Gouge away,

You can gouge away,

Stay all day, if you want to...

man from glad's picture

Imagine how much worse it'd be for them if they didn't have "free" healthcare. Pretty sad.

E.F. Mutton's picture

Oh, so you've met half my family?

Okies and Canadians must have a lot in common. 

vealparm's picture

Yup, that is true. They can find the money for weed and tats.........and a 60" TV, computer, Iphone and the monthly plans needed to keep them turned on. Amazing that a mere 30+ years ago, we all had a land line phone, a 27" TV and no computer.......yet society functioned.

FIAT CON's picture

Yes, it seems the poorer people are the more tat's they have.

 This must stem from indoctrination.


fleur de lis's picture

No problem -- import more third worlders and expand the welfare state.

It's hard to feel bad for Canuks after electing a smartass punk like Trudeau.




AGuy's picture

"But hes sooo....cool."

As in Room temperature!

Bytor325's picture

Trudeau better come up with a solution, eh.S.eh.P

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

What's sad is I bet the refugees have more cash in their pocket that the average Canuck.

Readership_of_the_Financial_Times's picture

The lack of savings is just a symptom, the problem is that our economic system, Capitalism, is defunct. See below argument: no one has disproved it so far:

Extinction is the System Result



squid's picture




Canada hasn't had capitalism since 1939.



Readership_of_the_Financial_Times's picture

You have usury, right?

Then you have Capitalism. That's the central plank pal, sorry to ruin your fantasy. And that's why the average idiot in Canada has 200$ to his name.

Care to argue the point? Don't think you will ...

shovelhead's picture

Jesus jumping Christ.

Why would anyone waste time arguing with an idiot like you?

Maybe you were saving your earthshaking revelations for the very last paragraph. Too bad anybody with a functioning mind will never make it that far because wading through the drool will tire them out.

But I do care about you. Please wear a helmet when you go outside, 'kay?

logicalman's picture

Nobody has tried capitalism for a very long time.

Since the invention of government - based on theft - followed by banking - based on fraud - real capitalism has been impossible.


GoinFawr's picture

Interesting: without publicly funded, operated, and overseen courts how are contract disputes settled in your (loose) interpretation of Marx's Kapital?

your specious definition for 'real' capitalism appears to be  "it's sugar and spice and everything nice!"

lol, tough to argue with that!

Of course the reality is that, historically, the blunt instrument that actually is capitalism hasn't given one ratz ass whether it benefits from force, fraud, theft or any other moral or immoral opportunity for advantage that has presented itself.

Before I get tarred with another dysphemistic pinko epithet can I just say: I like capitalism when it serves, just not when it commands. What's more, as far as I can tell, when mitigated by an engaged population capitalism can and has been allowed to accomplish amazing things. Indeed, despite Marx's dismal predictions of where capitalism would lead (to ~where we are now, as I recall FWIW) no society can expect to flourish without using it. And a good thing too! Right right? Right right.

But, come on, it's an inherently amoral tool for accumulating wealth, not some sort of god-ordained, sure 'nough wholistic ideology. 

"Capitalism provides bread, but with no moral basis."-F.Dostoyevsky

Left entirely to its own devices it devolves to Might Makes Right faster than you can say "Shotgun!!"


"And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's. And if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?" THomas More (Robert Bolt)

Sick Monkey's picture

Big works both ways. QE plus low rates = big illusion