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Canadians Take Nearly $8,000 Out of Emergency Savings for Non-Essentials: BMO Report

- The majority have dipped into their fund for a non-emergency

- Women more likely to dip into their fund, but men dip in for much more

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 12, 2014) - Two-thirds of Canadians have dipped into their savings for a non-emergency, taking an average $7,955 to cover indulgences, including electronics, non-essential home renovations, vehicle upgrades, vacations and large gifts.

Part two of the annual BMO Rainy Day Survey, conducted by Pollara, revealed that women are more likely than men to dip into their fund for a non-emergency, but men dip in deeper:

  • Seven-in-ten women (68 per cent) dipped into their fund for a non-emergency, compared to 61 per cent of men
  • Men have taken an average of $10,351 for a non-emergency, while women have taken $5,920
  • Women's top three non-emergency expenses included vacations, home renovations and large gifts
  • Men's top three included vacations, electronics, and home renovations

"While it's promising to see that Canadians consider their rainy-day savings to be primarily reserved for emergencies, their willingness to dip into their fund for an indulgence could be a threat to their financial security," said Christine Canning, Head of Everyday Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "A better approach would be to hold a designated fund for indulgences, to help keep expenses in check."

Gender Differences
Men Women
Have used emergency savings for a "non-emergency" 61 % 68 %
Amount taken to cover non-emergency expense $ 10,351 $ 5,920
Never replaced money taken from fund 17 % 27 %
Average Rainy Day Fund $ 37,446 $ 32,856

The BMO Rainy Day Survey was conducted by Pollara between August 5th and August 7th, 2014, with an online sample of 1,001 adult Canadians. Data have 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 1,001 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 more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Russell Baker, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
Twitter: @BMOmedia

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