Nearly 40 per cent of people have struggled to pay bills in past 12 months: poll

TORONTO – A new survey from Manulife Bank suggests that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians have struggled to cover their household expenses at least once in the past year.

Sixty-two per cent of those polled said they were never “caught short” without enough money in their bank account to cover expenses in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, 24 per cent found themselves in that position once or twice in the past 12 months, 10 per cent were short on cash a few times a year and four per cent said they were caught short almost every month.

Lines of credit were the most popular solution for those who came up short, with 33 per cent reporting that they accessed one the last time they were short on funds.

The online survey conducted by Environics Research between July 22 and August 7 polled 2,372 homeowners across the country.

Respondents were between the ages of 20 to 59 and had a household income of at least $50,000.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the polling industry’s professional body, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error due to their lack of random sampling.

“The challenge faced by many Canadians is that their income is relatively stable from month-to-month, but their expenses can vary significantly,” Rick Lunny, president and CEO of Manulife Bank of Canada, said in a statement.

“Access to rainy day savings or a low-cost line of credit are good options to safeguard against these fluctuations. However, if your backup plan is to carry high-interest credit card debt or borrow from a family member — you could be putting undue stress on your finances or relationships.”

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