In one of my books I’ve argued that young people should adopt the slogan “Freedom, Not Stuff” as a way to remind themselves that financial independence beats accumulating possessions via debt.
Now a survey being released by Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada has released a survey saying Canadians think financial security beats milestones like buying a home or a car. The two organizations are celebrating ten years of building financial literacy through Credit Education Week, which runs this week (Nov 7 to 11th).
The survey of 600 in four major regions of Canada asked consumers to share insights into their financial wins. While there’s a perception that Canadians hold the goal of home ownership above all else, the survey found that in reality, they rank milestones like buying a home (12 per cent) or car (8 per cent) as less important financial wins than feeling financially secure in their daily lives (25 per cent).
“There is so much to learn from the positive, everyday financial experiences of our friends and family,” says Brent Reynolds, Managing Vice President of Capital One Canada. “Milestone moments like a new home or car may garner more ‘likes’, but it’s the experiences not easily shared in 140 characters that are most impactful – like how we took charge of our finances or recovered from a financial stumble.”
80% reported a financial win this year
Thus, 80 per cent of Canadians report having a financial win this year, where they took control of their financial situation to achieve a goal. Many Canadians (85 per cent) attribute their financial wins to planning, as well as using online banking tools (41 per cent) and information from financial institutions (34 per cent).
When it comes to achieving financial wins, the survey participants experienced the following successes in their lives:
– Buying a house (25 per cent)
– Becoming debt-free (15 per cent)
– Feeling secure in daily life (11 per cent)
– Living independently (8 per cent)
– Buying a car (8 per cent)
“Our research shows that Canadians who achieve their financial win feel more confident in their ability to provide for themselves and their loved ones,” says Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions. “While 15 per cent of Canadians credit their ‘win’ to luck, Credit Canada is committed to helping Canadians succeed financially by providing education and resources that can help achieve their wins.
While 67 per cent celebrated their financial win by telling those close to them, very few shared the win over social media (14 per cent), despite the sense of accomplishment (55 per cent) and happiness (50 per cent) they felt once the win was realized. Survey participants agreed the best advice you can offer someone trying to achieve their own financial win was to be patient and stick with it (35 per cent), get organized (22 per cent) and pay yourself first by saving a little bit every payday (22 per cent).
The two organizations offer the following tips:
– Set goals: Work with family, friends and your financial advisor to help create financial goals and an action plan.
– Maintain Progress: To maintain forward momentum, ask someone close to you to keep you accountable and schedule regular sessions every month or two to track your progress.
– Save every payday: Even if it seems like an insignificant amount, saving a little bit every payday creates positive saving habits and the amount of money will add up! You’ll feel accomplished watching that number grow.
– Celebrate and share: Once you’ve turned your financial goal into a financial win, celebrate it! Share your success and how you achieved it, so that others can learn from you.
– On to the next: Don’t wait to set another goal, set one right away to maintain financial growth and achieve your next financial win.
Canada’s financial literacy leader, Jane Rooney, says Financial literacy is a critical life skill. “We want people to budget, save, and live within their means. We know that money is a major cause of stress, which is why having a financial plan is so important.”
This year’s Credit Education Week is focused on the theme of ‘financial wins’, with a number of workshops and events across the country aimed at addressing how Canadians can make responsible financial decisions that lead to success. Visit www.cewc.ca to learn more.