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Canadians Struggling to Save .

With the end of 2011 not too far off, a recent survey suggests that many are nowhere near reaching their financial goals that they had hoped to achieve this year.

ING Direct says: “Despite fifty-nine per cent of Canadians labelling themselves 'savers' versus spenders when it comes to how they treat their money, a new survey from ING DIRECT released today reveals that one in two Canadians are unable to put away an extra $25 a week. Forty-one per cent say being able to save this relatively small amount per week would make them happier, and get them closer to reaching their most important financial goal this year - namely paying off debt (25%).”

 

The currently volatile economic environment creates some challenges as well.

"Mounting pressures have made saving difficult, yet a lot of average Canadians appear unwilling to commit to the small daily changes that help save a little money each week, and lead to greater financial well-being," explained Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT.

"Just like eating healthy and exercising, changing some everyday habits can go a long way to getting people closer to longer-term, important savings goals, like paying down debt and saving for retirement. Instead of focusing on how to make big dents into debt repayment or radically changing a standard of living, think about cutting back some of the smaller daily spending, which is often unaccounted for and adds up significantly over the course of several months."

A little bit can go a long way, as this survey suggests.  It is about creating healthy saving habits, and making them invisible- so that they become part of a daily, weekly or monthly routine.

Putting away $25 a week can add up quickly- to the tune of $1300/year, and that doesn’t include interest.  To achieve this reasonable goal, many surveyed had strategies to do so, including eating out less (47%), doing less shopping (40%), making lunch and coffee at home (24%), using coupons (23%) and cutting down on groceries (23%).

The survey found, as no surprise, that the biggest expense that Canadians endure, apart from mortgage and/or rent costs, is the grocery bill.

"The point isn't to cut out the daily indulgences that people enjoy, but to put a limit on them and find a healthy balance between spending and saving," said Aceto. "Time and again, the feedback we get from Canadians is how quickly their savings add up over time absent of fees and with the power of compounding interest. We're proud to have paid more than $5 billion in interest to Canadians, most whom have built up their saving accounts little by little over the years."

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