Fifty-one per cent of Canadians say they are embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation, says a Leger survey commissioned by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). When the survey was conducted four years ago, the result was 44 per cent.
The Financial Stress survey also found that 41 per cent of Canadians rank money as their greatest stress, ahead of their personal health, work and relationships.
Younger Canadians and those earning less than $80k per year are significantly more likely to be embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation, according to the study.
Forty-eight per cent of respondents reported losing sleep over financial worries. Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed say they feel pressure to keep up with their friends' or colleagues' financial status. Those most likely to feel this pressure were millennials (52 per cent, or nearly double the national average), and families with children in the household (38 per cent).
Eighty-three per cent of respondents reported having at least one financial regret. At the top of the list was wishing they had saved and invested more money, followed by wishing they had bought real estate or land, and wishing they had done more schooling.
Work with an expert
"Many people feel like they have no control over their financial situation, whether because fretting about money has become an ingrained habit, or as a result of not having a solid plan in place regarding what they bring in and how they manage it," said author, personal finance educator and FPSC's Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn. She recommends that those stressed about money seek out expert assistance, in particular working with a Certified Financial Planner.
"Money is inextricably interwoven into all aspects of our lives, and managing it effectively is a modern survival skill," says Dr. Moira Somers, Ph.D., C.Psych, a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in mental and financial well-being. "So, when things are not going well for us financially, we tend to use up a great deal of our brainpower finding solutions or ways out of our dilemma. If the stress is prolonged, it can be quite exhausting, and can even cause temporary reductions in IQ and problem-solving abilities.” She also recommends that those experiencing financial stress work with a planner. “Once realistic plans are in place to address real or imagined shortfalls both for now and the future, stress tends to settle quickly," she says.
To learn more, read the full report here.