All in the Family: BMO Study Examines the Financial Mindset of Canadians With Kids

Marketwired

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jul 14, 2014) - BMO released the results of a mid-year poll of Canadian families with children, revealing that while the majority are feeling more optimistic about the economy, half (50 per cent) are concerned about their personal finances.

According to Statistics Canada, there are over 5.6 million families with children in Canada. Two parent families with children under 18 years of age, have a median income of $93,700.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, revealed the different mindsets of Canadians with children:

  • More than half (56 per cent) feel Canada is coming out of a recession, or completely out of the recession and growing again
  • Six-in-ten (57 per cent) believe that Canada's economy is doing better than the rest of the world
  • However, when it comes to personal finances, half (50 per cent) feel they are falling behind on their monthly expenses, or just getting by, with no savings

Millennial Families vs. Baby Boomer Families

Overall, families with kids are feeling optimistic, but the poll found generational differences. Millennial families (Canadians aged 18-34 with children) hold more positive views than baby boomer families (Canadians aged 55+ with children).

18-34 Year Olds (Millennials) With Kids 55+ Year Olds (Baby Boomers) With Kids
Canada is coming out of recession/is out of recession and growing again 62% 53%
Canada's economy is doing better, compared to the rest of the world 63% 57%
Falling behind on monthly expenses, or just getting by, with no savings 42% 50%

According to BMO Economics, compared to baby boomers, millennials are set to start their careers and family life on a firmer financial footing. Millennials have more wealth and are seeing better job prospects than their parents in the 1980s, and their higher education leads to slightly better incomes - though they are juggling more debt and costlier homes.

"The guarded optimism reflects a view that the global economy is on the mend and that borrowing costs will remain relatively low in the years ahead," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Still, baby boomers with children may have more pressing financial obligations, such as paying for kids' university education, leading to lower confidence in personal finances and the economy."

The study also revealed three-quarters (76 per cent) of millennial families are more concerned this year about saving money than they were last year, yet 47 per cent expect their summer spending will incur debt. Baby boomer families are less concerned with saving money, and less willing to incur debt from summer spending (49 per cent and 22 per cent respectively).

"While the majority of young families don't feel they are falling behind financially, industry data show that they typically carry more debt," said Tony Tintinalli, Regional Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Maximizing savings is a top priority for young families, and having a detailed financial plan is critical to help keep expenses predictable, while paying down debts."

BMO offers the following guidance to a strong financial track and increased savings:

- Monitor your spending: Develop a budget that establishes how household expenses will be paid and how spending will be managed. Take advantage of online tools, such as the new and improved BMO Mobile Banking app, to help you stay on top of everyday spending and saving, while quickly and easily completing everyday transactions.

- Make sure you're getting the most out of your bank account: New customers who switch their banking to BMO before August 31, 2014, can receive up to $300. For more information, visit www.bmo.com/personal

- Consolidate your high interest debt: By paying off higher interest debt with a single payment through a lower rate product, such as BMO's Personal Line of Credit, you can save hundreds in interest costs and pay down debt faster.

The BMO Summer Spending Survey which was conducted by Pollara between May 26th and 28th, 2014, with an online sample of 1,518 adult Canadians, 987 of whom have children. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample size of 1,518 is ± 2.5%, and of 987 is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $582 billion and more than 45,500 employees at April 30, 2014.

Contact:
Media
Kathleen Savage
Toronto
(416) 867-3996
kathleen.savage@bmo.com
Valerie Doucet
Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia

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