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News   October 30, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Nearly half of Canadians can’t handle ‘inevitable life events’ like car repairs

Nearly half of Canadians say they don’t expect to be able to cover basic living expenses without taking on more debt, according to a new survey from MNP.

The report says Canadians find themselves with less money each month, more than half concerned about their ability to repay debts.

After paying all their current bills and debt obligations, Canadians have $557 left at the end of the month on average — a drop of $142 since June and the lowest level since tracking began in February 2016.

Nearly half say they are left with less than $200, including three in 10 who say they already don’t make enough money to cover all their bills and debt obligations.

The findings are part of the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index conducted quarterly by Ipsos. Now in its tenth wave, the Index tracks Canadians’ attitudes about their consumer debt and perception of their ability to meet monthly payment obligations.

“Household debt has eased marginally and the current holding pattern on interest rates may be giving Canadians a sense of optimism about their finances,” said Grant Bazian, president of MNP Ltd. “Our research shows that most households do not have enough cash for inevitable life events like a car repair.”

The new anecdotal evidence of tight household finances comes ahead of a policy announcement by the Bank of Canada on Wednesday that will break a prolonged period of silence on monetary policy.


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6 Comments » for Nearly half of Canadians can’t handle ‘inevitable life events’ like car repairs
  1. Sadly, this rings true for many of us. Car repairs can cause many of us to revert into a tailspin. We don’t plan for them, therefore they catch us by surprise. Not to mention, many times these car repairs are necessary because we may have neglected to get a much smaller problem remedied so it became a much larger and more expensive car repair.

  2. Mike says:

    Being in a position to handle any kind of curve ball that life may throw you is harder than it may seem for many people. Car repairs are one of those type of curve balls that can throw a wrench into people’s lives. The unexpected reality of these type of expenses can be lessened by making sure to have any maintenance services that may be recommended and taking any steps that you can to take really good care of your vehicle.

  3. Greg says:

    I believe this is a common problem in the U.S. also. many people are living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have much, if any, money saved. It was a problem before and it seems like post-pandemic has only exacerbated it. Car repairs are a part of life unfortunately and these same people are living each day with their fingers crossed, hoping to avoid car repairs.

  4. If you haven’t done well with keeping up on your vehicle’s maintenance, car repairs may very well be in your future. Now that winter and all of its elements are upon us, it can take a toll on your vehicle. It may be a good idea to try and catch up on that maintenance as soon as you’re able because that’s cheaper than a potential car repair.

  5. Mike says:

    If you need a car repair and you don’t have the extra funds available, there are options. One of those options may be to apply for a credit card through your car repair facility. Sometimes they offer special promotions that can make the payments a little easier to handle.

  6. Mike says:

    With grocery, gas and everything else being so darn expensive anymore, this is becoming a problem for even more people. Car repair costs are getting to be more expensive, too. If you are in need of a car repair, look for coupons for the facility that you have chosen. You can even ask if they have any ongoing specials for the service that you need. There are helpful tricks, you just have to look around and inquire with others.

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