Survey Studies Discretionary Spending In Canada

Edward Jones, a financial firm, just commissioned a new survey of Canadian spending habits. What they found is that quite a few people are taking a rather cavalier attitude towards discretionary spending habits. The fixed amounts going out the door for the most part are accounted for by at least 29 percent of the population. This includes the rent, a mortgage or car payment. But 32 percent of those surveyed did not track any of their expenses.

Statistics Canada figures notes that the debt to income ratio for Canadian households came in at 164.6 percent during 2012’s third quarter. Translated, it means that for every $100 in net income, $65 was already allotted to debt.

Edward Jones’ Senior Product Manager for Retirement Planning, Michelle Kay-Scott, noted that it is this failure to keep track of spending and expenses that may be the root of the debt problem. If you know where your money goes, from the mortgage to a casual night out, you can figure out what your normal spending habits are. Then, you can adjust them if need be.

Type of Family and Debt

The survey discovered that families with children were more likely to keep track of their expenses. Some 73 percent of families monitored their monetary outlay, while 65 percent of singles and couples kept track. Kay-Scott did note that Canadians do handle their money differently during different stages of life, whether that is to save for a home or to navigate retirement. But no matter the life stage, keeping track of monetary outlay is key.

Spending Tracker App

Edward Jones has come up with a new web-based discretionary spending app. It lists the amount spent on various things, like dinner out, entertainment or a new set of clothes. Then it calculates how indulging in these items could affect your savings toward retirement, a home down payment or other financial goals. It is available from smartphones at

Spending Tracking Trends

Residents of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario were found to be more likely to track their spending that those from Quebec, 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Also of note, those making $100 per year and more were less likely to keep track of spending than Canadians who averaged between $40k and $59k per year, 33 percent and 45 percent, also respectively.

Edward Jones, a financial firm, just commissioned a new survey of Canadian spending habits. What they found is that quite a few people are taking a rather cavalier attitude towards discretionary spending habits. The fixed amounts going out the door for the most part are accounted for by at least 29 percent of the population. This includes the rent, a mortgage or car payment. But 32 percent of those surveyed did not track any of their expenses. 

Statistics Canada figures notes that the debt to income ratio for Canadian households came in at 164.6 percent during 2012’s third quarter. Translated, it means that for every $100 in net income, $65 was already allotted to debt. 

Edward Jones’ Senior Product Manager for Retirement Planning, Michelle Kay-Scott, noted that it is this failure to keep track of spending and expenses that may be the root of the debt problem. If you know where your money goes, from the mortgage to a casual night out, you can figure out what your normal spending habits are. Then, you can adjust them if need be. 

Type of Family and Debt

The survey discovered that families with children were more likely to keep track of their expenses. Some 73 percent of families monitored their monetary outlay, while 65 percent of singles and couples kept track. Kay-Scott did note that Canadians do handle their money differently during different stages of life, whether that is to save for a home or to navigate retirement. But no matter the life stage, keeping track of monetary outlay is key. 

Spending Tracker App

Edward Jones has come up with a new web-based discretionary spending app. It lists the amount spent on various things, like dinner out, entertainment or a new set of clothes. Then it calculates how indulging in these items could affect your savings toward retirement, a home down payment or other financial goals. It is available from smartphones at 

Spending Tracking Trends

Residents of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario were found to be more likely to track their spending that those from Quebec, 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Also of note, those making $100 per year and more were less likely to keep track of spending than Canadians who averaged between $40k and $59k per year, 33 percent and 45 percent, also respectively.

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