More Manitoba And Saskatchewan Residents Optimistic About Their Financial Future

Winnipeg, MB, January 20, 2020 — Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents see blue skies on the horizon heading into the new year and beyond as more expect their debt situation to improve, according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index conducted quarterly by Ipsos. Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents’ net confidence in their financial futures a year down the road rose two points since September. When comparing their current debt situation to five years in the future, net confidence increased seven points.

Night view of Downtown Winnipeg

“Our findings show there is growing optimism in the provinces and perhaps a shift away from debt hopelessness,” says Gord Neudorf, a Winnipeg-based Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD. “Despite this, many still feel worse off now compared to the past.”

While there is increasing optimism among Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents about their financial futures, they still feel worse off now compared to the past. Net optimism for both one- and five-year timeframes have declined by two and five points respectively. Nearly 3 in 10 (27%, +6%) Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents now say their debt situation is worse than it was five years ago.

“Consumer debt is still a real problem for those in both provinces. One of the biggest issues is many have allowed their debts to snowball and are now in a position where it is very difficult to get back on track financially,” says Neudorf.

Nearly half (45%, -1%) of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents aren’t confident they will be able to cover their family and living expenses this year without going further into debt. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%, -4%) say they are already insolvent, meaning that they cannot meet all their monthly financial obligations. This proportion rises to 52 percent (+2%) when also including those who say they are $200 or less away from being insolvent at month end.

“Anyone who finds themselves using credit to make ends meet should get help from a licensed professional. They can work with you to deal with your debts and help create a budget — which includes a plan to manage any rainy-day expenses that might arise.”

The index showed many Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are still uneasy when it comes to being prepared for the unexpected, although those numbers have improved slightly. For example, 3 in 10 (30%) are confident in their ability to cope with a life-changing event such as a serious illness (+1%), loss of employment, change in wage or seasonal work (+2%) without increasing their debt load.

“To avoid falling back into the same financial troubles in the future, it’s important to not only pay off your creditors but also change your mindset and behaviours — that is the only way to break the cycle of debt,” says Neudorf.

While it seems more Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are starting to seek professional help with their debt, one of the biggest behavioural changes still required among those who are severely indebted is shucking the tendency to isolate rather than reach out for guidance. 

“We often have clients who come into our offices after struggling to manage their debt for years or even decades,” he explains. “You don’t have to have a minimum amount of debt to seek professional support. If your debt has reached the point where it is causing stress or impacting relationships, don’t wait any longer to get help.”

MNP Ltd. offers Free Confidential Consultations and their team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees are empowered to help those struggling financially to make the most informed choices to deal with their debt. Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only federally regulated professionals who can provide regulated insolvency options, such as a Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcies.

About MNP LTD

MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 230 offices from coast-to-coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit MNPdebt.ca to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free Do it Yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools.  

About the MNP Consumer Debt Index

The MNP Consumer Debt Index measures Canadians’ attitudes toward their consumer debt and gauges their ability to pay their bills, endure unexpected expenses and absorb interest-rate fluctuations without approaching insolvency. Conducted by Ipsos and updated quarterly, the Index is an industry-leading barometer of financial pressure or relief among Canadians. Visit MNPdebt.ca/CDI to learn more.

The latest data, representing the eleventh wave of the MNP Consumer Debt Index, was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between December 4 and December 9, 2019. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error — including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.

A summary of the national data is available by request.