Despite 68 per cent of Canadians living on a budget, half feel they’ve lost control of personal finances.

Toronto (Oct. 30, 2013) – When it comes to taking control of your relationship with money, Canadians may want to start with other important relationships – your family and friends. The new consumer trends survey Every Dollar Counts, conducted by Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada for Financial Literacy Month, found Canadians’ spending habits are heavily influenced by the people around them and it’s hurting their ability to reach their personal financial goals.

Peer pressure can wreak havoc on budgeting, with 44 per cent of Canadians saying friends press them to spend more than they can afford when going out. After the bill arrives, 22 per cent say they typically end up paying more than their fair share, while 6 per cent admit they regularly do not contribute enough.

According to the study, it’s acceptable to avoid social situations that can put you in an awkward financial position without any social stigma. An overwhelming majority of Canadians (92 per cent) say there are acceptable excuses to be cheap, led by paying off debt (77 per cent), saving for a home (55 per cent) and saving for a child’s education (50 per cent).

“As we celebrate the start of Financial Literacy Month, the lesson is clear – getting your personal finances in order is a group effort,” says Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions. “Family and friends need to fully understand your objectives so that they can help you achieve your financial goals. There is no shame in taking control of your money.”

The most acceptable areas to cut back spending include groceries (82 per cent), going out with friends (81 per cent), buying gifts (71 per cent) and planning your wedding (70 per cent). Interestingly, 76 per cent of women are willing to cut back on wedding plans compared with 63 per cent of men.

Family also plays a major role in determining if Canadians can stay on top of their spending and transparent communication is definitely key. Although 82 per cent of Canadians in relationships say they speak openly and honestly with their partners about money, one-third say their other half’s spending habits have hurt them in achieving financial goals.

“We’re always listening to consumers to find out what we can do to help people stay in control of their money,” says Rob Livingston, President, Capital One Canada. “These insights into Canadians’ spending habits prove nothing beats having a strong network of family and friends for support to stay on track.”

Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada offer the following tips for financial success:

  • Share your financial goals with family and friends so they can help you stay on track
  • Write your financial goals down and keep a log of your progress
  • Reward yourself when you make smart financial decisions that will help you reach your goal
  • Identify your personal money vices and develop a budget that will help you cut back
  • Organize plans with friends that don’t involve spending money
  • Shop smart and look for ways to make every dollar count

About the survey

In September 2013, Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada commissioned a survey of 803 Canadians equally distributed across the 4 major regions of Canada (West, Ontario, Quebec and East) and the margin of error is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About Credit Canada Debt Solutions

Credit Canada Debt Solutions is a non-profit charitable service that has assisted thousands of people with credit counselling and debt management programs since 1966. Credit Canada is a member of the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services and a Charter Member of Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services.

About Capital One

With offices in Toronto and Montreal, Capital One has offered Canadian consumers a range of competitive MasterCard credit cards since 1996, and now includes the Aspire suite of rewards cards which are regularly cited by leading rewards experts for the great value they offer consumers. Capital One Canada is a division of Capital One Bank, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia (NYSE: COF). Capital One believes in empowering Canadians to take control of their finances through programs and resources like, Credit Education Week Canada, and the Capital One Financial Education Challenge.

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