More than half of British Columbians are living paycheque to paycheque: survey

Sep 8 2016, 3:08 pm

The numbers are grim, but hardly surprising.

A new survey¬†from the Canadian Payroll Association finds that more than half (53%) of British Columbians are living paycheque to paycheque and say they’d have difficulty meeting their financial obligations if payday was delayed even by a week.

And forget about a rainy day fund. More than a quarter of people in BC say they wouldn’t be able to come up with $2,000 if an emergency came up in the next month.

Both of those figures are higher than the national average – less than half of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque, and 24% say they don’t have a rainy day fund of $2,000.

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When it comes to debt, people in BC feel overwhelmed at a significantly higher rate than the national average – nearly half of those polled say their debt is swallowing them, the highest figure in Canada, and 11% say they think they’ll never be debt-free.

Beyond the sad debt and savings figures, nearly half of BC residents think they will need a retirement nest-egg of $1 million, and 80% say they have saved a quarter or less of what they feel they’ll need, the biggest shortfall in Canada.

It’s not all bad, however. Many in BC (43%) feel like the economy will improve, making them more optimistic than the rest of Canada.

More than 5,600 Canadians were polled to gather these figures from June 27 to August 5.