BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

June 23, 2015 06:00 ET

BMO Study: Bad Habits and an Unwillingness to Make Sacrifices Preventing Many Canadians from Improving their Financial Standing

- One third regret past financial decisions, including impulse spending and going over budget

- Canadians are able to put aside an average of $450 in savings per month

- New BMO Savings Builder Account rewards Canadians who save on regular basis

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 23, 2015) - According to a new study released today by BMO Bank of Montreal, while the majority of Canadians would like to improve their financial standing, many admit that bad spending and savings habits and an unwillingness to make sacrifices are keeping them from doing so.

The poll, conducted by Pollara, revealed:

  • The vast majority of Canadians (88 per cent) would like to improve their financial standing; however, more than one-quarter (27 per cent) do not know where to start.
  • More than one third (38 per cent) say they have developed bad spending and savings habits that are negatively affecting their finances, while another 31 per cent are not willing to give up the things they enjoy to improve their financial standing.
  • Thirty-six per cent regret past financial decisions, 17 per cent have felt ashamed or embarrassed by their money situation and 13 per cent have avoided looking at financial statements or bills.

"Without healthy routines it's easy for people to develop a negative relationship with their financial situation, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to change things for the better," said Christine Canning, Head, Everyday Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Start by taking small, deliberate steps to reverse bad spending or savings habits to begin building positive momentum. Then, put strategies in place to help you stick to the program."

Impulse Purchases, Over Spending and Lack of Self Control Top the List of Canadians Financial Regrets

Of those carrying financial regret, spending outside their means tops the list at 37 per cent. Furthermore:

  • One third (34 per cent) regret not using more self-control with their finances, including making unnecessary or impulse purchases (36 per cent).
  • Another 25 per cent say their past spending habits have led them into debt.
  • One in five (20 per cent) regret purchases that prevented them from putting funds toward savings and debt.

According to the BMO Household Savings Report released in April, more Canadians are making saving a habit by using a fixed savings plan that includes monthly contributions. In fact, one-in-three Canadians (31 per cent) have a fixed savings plan in place heading into 2015, a year-over-year increase of 19 per cent.

"It's important that Canadians set financial goals for themselves and establish behaviours that will help achieve them," noted Ms. Canning. "Working with a financial planner who can help build a comprehensive household budget is a good first step toward getting spending and savings habits on track."

Ms. Canning added that BMO recently launched the BMO Savings Builder Account, which offers Canadians an industry-leading rate of 1.3 per cent when they increase their savings by $200 or more each month. The account helps Canadians get into the habit of saving, whether for a down payment on a home, a child's education or for a rainy day.

For more information on the BMO Savings Builder Account, please click here.

The 2015 Psychology of Savings Report was completed by Pollara between June 12th and June 16th, 2015 with an online sample of 1,003 Canadians, while the 2015 BMO Savings Report was completed by Pollara between March 13th and March 16th, 2015, with an online sample of 1,002 Canadians. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20 in each report. All data has been weighted by region, gender, and age, based on the most recent Census figures, so that it is representative of all adult Canadians.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $633 billion as of April 30, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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