Survey Finds More than Half of Canadians Can’t Keep Up with Rising Cost of Living

As Canada’s major cities continue to see skyrocketing housing prices and inflation rates across the country, more Canadians are facing financial challenges.

In a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute, more than half of Canadians said they could not keep up with the cost of living and seven in 10 Canadians reported being stressed about money as inflation rates continue to grow.

“Canadians’ household budgets are becoming squeezed from all angles as the price of goods rises,” the report from Angus Reid says. “The costs of food, gasoline, and energy, in particular, are adding to household bills.”

According to Statistics Canada, the nation’s annual inflation rate reached 5.1 per cent, outpacing wage increases of 2.4 per cent over the same period. The agency said that this was the first time the annual inflation rate exceeded five per cent in more than 30 years.

With rising housing, gasoline and grocery prices driving inflation, the Angus Reid survey found that 53 per cent of respondents reported not being able to keep up with the rising cost of living.

When it came to emergency expenses, 51 per cent reported they would be unable to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill, including 14 per cent who said they couldn’t manage an emergency expense of any kind.

The survey also found that money was a source of stress for 70 per cent of respondents, which was more than double the 28 per cent who said it never bothers them.

To stretch their dollars further, three-quarters of respondents said they had modified their buying habits in recent months by cutting back on discretionary spending, big purchases, extra car trips or vacations. More than one in five said they have deprioritized savings. Households with children also appear to be feeling financial pressure and were more likely to report cutting back on spending and savings. Nearly 40 per cent of parents said they face challenges paying for child care.

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