Fifty-two per cent of Albertans reported being affected by the drop in oil prices in Q2 2017, down from 58 per cent in the previous quarter, according to ATB Investor Beat. This correlates with an increase of optimism among Albertans concerning job opportunities, says the survey published July 11.

Despite improving optimism, paying off debt is still a top priority for Albertans, according to the survey. Overspending and unexpected expenses were among the main reasons given by respondents for not being on top of financial goals. Sixty per cent of Albertans who want to build an emergency fund are falling behind on this goal, and 59 per cent who are saving for a home are behind on this goal.

Financial stress

The survey found the main reason Albertans experience financial stress is the high cost of living. The survey also found that millennials are focusing their savings on the purchase of a home or a vacation, while Gen Xers are prioritizing retirement saving.

The ATB Investor Beat survey was conducted by Ipsos from April 3, 2017 to April 13, 2017, and involved 1,008 participants.