Poll: Paying down debt is Canadians’ top priority for 2023

A recent CIBC poll finds paying down debt is the top financial goal for Canadians in 2023 as they struggle to deal with inflation and recession fears.

The bank’s annual survey of financial priorities released Wednesday found that 18% of Canadians said paying down debt was their number one goal for the coming year. Other top goals included paying bills (17%) and growing investments (14%).

« The current economic environment has understandably caused Canadians to reassess their financial priorities for 2023, » said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice President, Financial and Investment Advisory, CIBC, in a press release.

“When things seem uncertain, it’s important for people to focus on what’s within their sphere of control. A finance professional can help Canadians plan for the unexpected and feel confident about the challenges of the coming year.

Although a majority of respondents (73 percent) say they are worried about a possible recession next year, many believe they are in good shape to make ends meet. Sixty-two percent feel financially prepared for the unexpected and 59% believe their financial situation is strong enough to withstand a recession.

The list of popular secondary goals topped the list with saving as much as possible (selected by 25% of respondents), followed by avoiding new debt, saving for vacations and reducing discretionary spending.

The rising cost of living was the main reason cited for taking on more debt, with unexpected financial emergencies, higher borrowing costs and home repairs further down the list.

Forty percent of workers worry about their job security and 60 percent say uncertainty prevents them from planning.

« Whether you’re on track to reach your financial goals in 2023 or you’re worried about what the future holds, we recommend you seek advice from a financial expert who can help you implement a plan to help you achieve your ambitions this year,” added Lucreziano.

« Recently there has been widespread concern about the impact of rising inflation, job security and rising costs of living. With these concerns in mind, Canadians should take advantage of this time to review their financial goals, review their expenses and budget, and, if possible, contribute to their emergency fund.


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