Albertans’ Debt Confidence Hinges on No Surprise Expenses

2017-08-22   minute read

Randy Kobbert

MNP Consumer Debt Index

A combination of high – albeit leveling – debt, a manageable cost of living and low savings has Albertans feeling conflicted about their finances. On the one hand, the economy is slowly showing signs of improvement and most have stopped borrowing money to offset lost wages. On the other hand, layoffs and reduced hours forced many to dig into their emergency funds to stay afloat. This could prove troublesome in the event of an unexpected expense such as a death in the family or a significant home or auto repair. Without a financial cushion to fall back on, some could see their repayment efforts come completely undone.

View of Calgary skyline at sunset

According to a recent poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD, 57% of Albertans do not expect to take on more debt over the next year. More than one in five have actually seen an improvement in their debt situations and 52% predict their finances will get better over the next five years. At the same time, 40% of people admit a financial emergency such as a divorce, serious illness or job loss would completely derail their debt repayment plans while 41% report continued anxiety about the threat of a layoff in their household.

With uncertainty as the status quo throughout the province, the best plan is to focus on saving. Having three to six months expenses put away in a rainy-day fund is recommended to avoid being caught off guard should a worst-case scenario occur. It could mean the difference between gaining control over your financial future and getting caught in a cycle of debt only bankruptcy or a consumer proposal can resolve.

An original article discussing the Ipsos poll and concern amongst Canadians were published online on August 10, 2017.

Based out of Lethbridge, Randy Kobbert is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Senior Vice-President at MNP LTD. To learn more about how MNP Debt can help, contact our local office at 403.380.1600.

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