Cracks Showing in Canadians' Financial Confidence as Majority Face Barriers to Feeling in Control of Money

Canadian dollar bills

Interac Corp

Release Date

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


According to new research from Interac Corp., the majority of Canadians (61 per cent) say they face barriers that hinder feelings of financial control. Current economic conditions are felt by many, with more than seven in 10 Canadians (71 per cent) noting that rising inflation has made it more important than ever to feel in control of their money, and nearly half (49 per cent) saying it has negatively impacted their confidence in managing everyday finances.

Younger Canadians (74 per cent among Gen Z and Millennials), those with a household income under $55,000 (67 per cent), and women (64 per cent) are more likely to say they face financial barriers than other demographics. Those barriers include rising inflation and higher living costs or a lack of knowledge around financial terminology. Women (27 per cent), Gen Z (33 per cent), Millennials (36 per cent), and those with a lower household income (28 per cent) are among the most likely to agree that a lack of financial knowledge contributes to feeling overwhelmed. Further, forty-nine per cent of Canadians agree they could do a better job of sticking within a budget and staying in control of their own money.

"Our research indicates that Canadians, now more than ever, are in need of solutions to help knock down barriers and reinforce financial confidence during these uncertain economic times," said Daria Hill, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Interac Corp. "We are proud to partner with Conscious Economics to deliver free and accessible community-led educational programing that helps Canadians nationwide boost their financial wellbeing and tackle the pressing economic challenges present today."

Amid Financial Literacy Month and as Canadians enter a busy holiday spending season, Interac and Conscious economics have partnered to launch Mindfulness & Money for Canadians, which offers a free, foundational digital learning platform to support the development of financial wellbeing skills through the lens of mindfulness, to Canadians coast-to-coast-to-coast.

"Mindfulness & Money delivers programming from experts and community leaders who have lived the same experiences as many Canadians who are most in need of accessible financial resources," said Rhiannon Rosalind, Creator and CEO, Conscious Economics. "Through this partnership, we hope to provide Canadians from all backgrounds with the financial programs needed to feel more empowered in today's new economy."

Rosalind adds that when people struggle with financial anxiety, they are likely to be less confident and may face increased barriers in feeling in control of their money. Mindfulness & Money incorporates a new concept of financial therapy, led by Canada's only registered Financial Therapist, Aseel El-Baba, to encourage Canadians from all backgrounds to look inwards on their own financial journeys. The program also includes modules led by community experts, small business owners, and creators, responding to Canadians' desire to take financial advice from relatable sources.

The Interac research also contained the following insights:

  • Sources of advice: Four-in-ten Canadians are comfortable with financial advice coming from family, a stat that's higher among younger respondents and women. Substantial proportions of respondents are comfortable taking advice from someone they can relate to (25 per cent), friends (24 per cent), or financially successful individuals (19 per cent).
  • Past vs. present: Most Canadians (63 per cent) indicate that behaviours from years prior have negatively impacted their current level of financial confidence. These factors include not having or investing more at a younger age (39 per cent), spending beyond their means in the past (28 per cent), taking on credit card debt in the past (23 per cent), and not asking enough questions about finances when they were younger (22 per cent). Those citing these factors are also disproportionately more likely to be women, Millennials or Gen X.
  • Feeling in control: As found in another Interac study, debit can be a helpful tool when it comes to maintaining control of spending as Canadians navigate higher living costs. This research showed that four in 10 Canadians (44 per cent) said they are hesitant to use credit and prefer to only spend the money they have.

"Building financial confidence among all Canadians is a key focus of our community impact efforts, because we believe that getting more out of life starts with feeling in control of your money," says Hill. "Anxiety during these challenging circumstances is high and further complicated by uncertainty in markets, making it a priority for us at Interac to invest in programming and resources that can help to strengthen financial resilience in Canadians, especially among more vulnerable groups." 

To learn more about how the Mindfulness & Money for Canadians foundational curriculum can help address cracks in financial confidence, and to access Mindfulness & Money for Diverse Entrepreneurs, which launched in September 2022, click here.

Click here to learn more about how Interac is helping build financial confidence through community outreach and education.

About the research

An online nationwide survey was undertaken among a total of 1,500 Canadian adults, age 18 years and older. Quotas and weighting were applied to ensure proportionate representation of the Canadian adult population in terms of gender, age, region, and education, according to the most recent Statistics Canada census data available. The study was fielded in English and French from October 19 to 25, 2022.

About Conscious Economics

Conscious Economics is a national not-for-profit organization and global social enterprise headquartered in Canada, with a 10-year history and proven track record in economic education, financial literacy programs, research, events and experiential learning. We have staged over 1,000 events that have gathered youth, business leaders, policy makers, change agents, educators, industry associations, charities, and not-for-profits. While we engage with all communities, we maintain a specialized focus on vulnerable populations including BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, Women and Artists.

About Interac Corp.

Interac empowers Canadians to transact digitally with confidence by providing payment and value exchange services. In helping to develop the future of money, data, and verification in Canada, security is the core of everything we do. Through our privacy, fraud mitigation, governance, and verification and authentication services, we help keep Canadian customers safe and secure when transacting. With nearly 300 financial institutions connected to our network, Canadians choose Interac products over 20 million times a day on average to exchange money. Interac champions workplace culture and corporate citizenship, and we are committed to building financial and digital confidence in Canadians, celebrating our diversity, and supporting small businesses. We are proud to be one of Canada's leading and most trusted financial brands. For more information, visit our website.

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